An Italian rice ball made with white wine risotto, and a gooey mozzarella center. Fantastic for lunch or dinner - can be frozen.

Recipe Summary

prep:
20 mins
cook:
35 mins
total:
55 mins
Servings:
18
Yield:
18 rice balls
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Ingredients

18
Original recipe yields 18 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and cook, stirring until onion is soft but not browned. Pour in the rice, and cook stirring for 2 minutes, then stir in the wine, and continue cooking and stirring until the liquid has evaporated. Add hot chicken stock to the rice 1/3 cup at a time, stirring and cooking until the liquid has evaporated before adding more.

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  • When the chicken stock has all been added, and the liquid has evaporated, stir in the peas and ham. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat, and stir in the Parmesan cheese. Transfer the risotto to a bowl, and allow to cool slightly.

  • Stir the beaten egg into the risotto. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining egg and milk with a fork. For each ball, roll 2 tablespoons of the risotto into a ball. Press a piece of the mozzarella cheese into the center, and roll to enclose. Coat lightly with flour, dip into the milk mixture, then roll in bread crumbs to coat.

  • Heat oil for frying in a deep-fryer or large deep saucepan to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Fry the balls in small batches until evenly golden, turning as needed. Drain on paper towels. Keep warm in a low oven while the rest are frying.

Note

These freeze well before or after frying. Fry frozen uncooked rice balls as in step 4. For already fried, reheat in a preheated 350 degree (175 degrees C) oven for 25 to 20 minutes.

These are not suitable to microwave

Nutrition Facts

252 calories; protein 6.3g 13% DV; carbohydrates 18.8g 6% DV; fat 16.4g 25% DV; cholesterol 29.1mg 10% DV; sodium 274mg 11% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (68)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
09/09/2005
The obscenities flew out of my mouth while making these balls, but boy did they fly into the mouths of my dinner guests! This dish is for a patient chef- allow 3-4 hours to make these. However, these are exceptional. Truly restaurant-quality. I eliminated the peas and didn't miss them (this probably makes it easier to shape the balls). Don't be concerned about the overwhelming flavor of the parmesan-risotto mixture, it's just right once the balls are battered and cooked. The oil I used to cook the balls didn't cover them, so I fried them for about 3-4 minutes on one side and then flipped. The less handling, the better. And they reheat beautifully in the oven to boot! Read More
(110)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 1 stars
12/18/2011
This was an epic fail on my part. I'm giving 1 star not because of taste but because of assemble-ability...I could not get the risotto to a consistency that I could roll it at. I ended up having to bake them in a muffin tin to get something edible. What is the secret to rolling them? I make risotto all the time so it's not that. Perhaps I need to let the risotto get really cold first?? HELP!!! Read More
(7)
85 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 61
  • 4 star values: 16
  • 3 star values: 7
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: 5 stars
09/09/2005
The obscenities flew out of my mouth while making these balls, but boy did they fly into the mouths of my dinner guests! This dish is for a patient chef- allow 3-4 hours to make these. However, these are exceptional. Truly restaurant-quality. I eliminated the peas and didn't miss them (this probably makes it easier to shape the balls). Don't be concerned about the overwhelming flavor of the parmesan-risotto mixture, it's just right once the balls are battered and cooked. The oil I used to cook the balls didn't cover them, so I fried them for about 3-4 minutes on one side and then flipped. The less handling, the better. And they reheat beautifully in the oven to boot! Read More
(110)
Rating: 5 stars
02/25/2009
Have made these a few times, the first time I struggled greatly getting the rice to form into neat round balls however I found if you place the risotto in the fridge for a couple of hours it makes it really simple to shape. The only other thing I would suggest is using bacon instead of ham, you don't need much put it provides a more distinct flavour and also gives them an extra crunch. All in all a great recipe. Read More
(58)
Rating: 4 stars
08/06/2003
Pretty good. I have eaten these with a meat center. I mixed ground beef with peas and mozzarella and put it in the center of the ball. You only need small amount. Eat these hot, with marinara sauce! This is a day long process, so block out some time to make these. Worth it though! Read More
(56)
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Rating: 5 stars
03/18/2005
I made this as an appetizer for a dinner party. I prepared them a week in advance and froze then reheated in oven. Served with some mixed lettuce leaves and a small portion of ambrosia.....delish. I did find the mixture a little sloppy to form balls but struggled through and they were perfect. Will definatley be making again but maybe without the peas. Read More
(30)
Rating: 5 stars
05/03/2006
WORTH IT I'D SAY SO...I ADDED A LITTLE BIT OF THE BREAD CRUMBS TO THE MIX TO HELP FORM THE BALLS. IT ALSO HELPS TO CHILL THE MIX. THE RESULTS ARE FAB. Read More
(20)
Rating: 5 stars
12/16/2009
These are excellent. But don't make the mistake I did: thinking the risotto was too thick I watered it down with some additional chicken broth. Of course it needs to be thick to hold together well around the cheese. I have tried making these smaller for appetizers and they are a hit. Read More
(18)
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Rating: 4 stars
03/03/2011
Almost like my mother-in-laws! I substituted the ham with ground beef and onions sautéed in home made marinara sauce and peas, and added a couple of pinches of saffron to the rice to give it an authentic color and flavor. After the rice is cooled I pre-made the rice balls then rolled LIGHTLY in the flour and let them sit slighlty. Then I used a teaspoon to make a small hole and stuffed them with the ground beef and shredded Mozzerella enclosed the hole and dipped it in the egg mixture and then bread crumbs. Finally I used a deep fryer to fry them. Next time I will use half the wine, since it was a little overbearing but all in all I was pleasantly surprised. Even my Mother-In-law was impressed. :-) Read More
(17)
Rating: 5 stars
09/14/2009
Messy and time consuming but absolutely worth it! I must admit I did not add the peas or the ham...added a touch of saffron instead. The wine is essential! I made a marinara sauce for dipping as well which was very well received. Reheats nicely. Read More
(16)
Rating: 5 stars
11/05/2006
This is incredible. I won third place in a cook off where you could make anything as long as you used rice. The only reason I placed third was because a judge was?scared? of peas. I had a blast making it and EVERYONE thought I should have won. My platter was cleaned out first. Thank you for an incredible recipe that I have now promised my whole family I will add to our Thanksgiving feast. Read More
(13)
Rating: 1 stars
12/18/2011
This was an epic fail on my part. I'm giving 1 star not because of taste but because of assemble-ability...I could not get the risotto to a consistency that I could roll it at. I ended up having to bake them in a muffin tin to get something edible. What is the secret to rolling them? I make risotto all the time so it's not that. Perhaps I need to let the risotto get really cold first?? HELP!!! Read More
(7)