Rice is a staple of Northern Italy, where it grows on the flat plains west of Milan. ‘Arancini’, as these are called in Italian can be made from leftover risotto, but they may fall apart if the mixture is too sloppy.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 cup Vialone Nano rice
200 ml chicken stock, hot
200 ml milk, hot
130 grams gorgonzola or other blue cheese
1 egg yolk
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
flour 2 eggs, beaten very fine, dry breadcrumbs olive oil for frying Parmesan for grating
Heat the oil in a sauté pan and cook the onion until soft and translucent, but not coloured. Add the rice and toss to coat with the oil. Stir gently until the rice is hot. This is often referred to as toasting.
Add the hot stock and milk, stir, then cover the pan and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook the rice for 15-20 minutes, stirring once. After 12 minutes, add the gorgonzola.
Remove from the heat and stir in the egg yolk. Season well and spread the mixture out onto a tray. Cool, cover and refrigerate until well chilled.
Use wet hands to roll into small balls, the size of a cherry. When ready to cook, toss them first in flour then beaten egg and lastly in the breadcrumbs.
Heat enough olive oil to cover the base of the pan to a depth of ½ cm. Fry the risotto balls gently until golden and drain well on kitchen towels.
To serve: Place the risotto balls in a serving dish, grate over Parmesan cheese and serve hot. Makes 35-40 balls