Enjoy Mario Matassa’s easy recipe for arancini – delicious balls of risotto – they are a great way to use up leftovers…


Serves 2
Preparation time 15 minutes
Cooking time 30 minutes


• 2 free-range eggs, beaten

• 50g fine breadcrumbs

• 350g cooked risotto

• 125g fresh mozzarella, chopped into small cubes

• a few tablespoons of leftover meat ragù (optional)

• 3 tbsp olive oil, for frying


1 Good preparation is key for this recipe. Make sure that before you begin assembling the balls you have placed the beaten eggs in a bowl, the breadcrumbs in another large bowl, and have a large plate or tray ready for the finished arancini balls to rest on.

2 Begin by placing a large tablespoon of rice in the palm of your hand and flatten it out slightly. Place a cube of cheese in the centre of the ball, then add about a teaspoon of ragù, if using. Fold the rest of the rice around the filling and, using both hands, shape it into a ball.

3 Dip the ball into the egg, then roll in the breadcrumbs. Once done, set aside on the plate or tray and continue to make the balls until all the rice has been used up. If your hands begin to get too sticky and the rice difficult to work with, just wash your hands, but don’t dry them as wet hands make the mixture much easier to work with.

4 Finally, heat the olive oil in a frying pan and, when hot, add the arancini balls and cook until golden and hot all the way through. Serve hot or cold.

TIP: I must stress that the success of this dish relies on using cooked risotto rice: its sticky consistency is perfect for holding the round ball shape. The size of the balls is entirely up to you – you could make small balls (the size of a large walnut) or, as I prefer, larger balls (the size of an orange).


Click here for Mario’s feature on using up leftovers, Italian-style (plus links to more delicious recipes!)