Wild Mushroom & Thyme Arancini with Tomato & Chilli Dipping Sauce 

A warming and flavoursome treat, get ahead by making the risotto in this recipe the day before. If you need to double the quantitiy for larger crowds, we recommend keeping the the butter and olive oil quantity the same in the risotto recipe. 

Makes:                        16

Ingredients:                 For the Arancini 

                                    Wild Mushroom & Thyme Risotto, cooled (see below)

                                    150g Buffalo mozzarella Pearls (or 150g large mozzarella ball, divided in 18 pieces ) 

                                    150g plain flour

                                    3 large eggs, beaten

                                    150g fine panko breadcrumbs 

                                    vegetable oil for frying

                                    For the Tomato & Chilli Dipping Sauce

                                    1/2 tablespoon olive oil

                                    1 shallot, peeled and chopped

                                    2 garlic cloves, crushed

                                    1 red chilli, finely chopped

                                    400g chopped plum tomatoes 

                                    1 tablespoon chopped parsley  


Cooking time:              30-40 minutes

Method:                       First make the risotto, click here for the recipe for Wild Mushroom & Thyme Risotto. Leave to cool.

Meanwhile make the dipping sauce. Heat the oil in a small saucepan over a low heat. Fry the shallot, garlic and chilli gently for 8 minutes or until soft and golden. Stir in the tomatoes and simmer for 15 minutes until the sauce has reduced slightly. Cool and blend until smooth with a hand blender. Spoon into a small bowl and sprinkle with parsley.

Scoop the cooled risotto into 16 equal golf ball sized portions. Flatten each ball on your palm and place a mozzarella pearl (or piece of mozzarella) in the centre. Wrap the rice around the cheese and roll into a ball. Place on a tray and repeat with the remaining risotto. 

Put the flour, eggs and breadcrumbs in 3 separate shallow dishes. Roll each risotto ball first in the flour, then the egg, then the breadcrumbs. Place them back on the tray.                       

Place a large heavy based saucepan, half filled with oil, over a medium heat until it reaches 180C on a cooking thermometer. Cook the risotto balls in small batches for 4-6 minutes or until golden brown and melting in the middle. Remove using a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Place the arancini on a wooden board and serve immediately with the tomato and chilli sauce.