Italian Appetisers


A classic Sicilian dish of stuffed Arborio rice balls filled with mozzarella and various delicious bids of fillings. Italian comfort food at it’s best.

Makes 24 – 2” balls


  • 900 mL chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 1/2 cups | 550 g Arborio rice
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil, cut into fine slivers
  • 1/3 cup pancetta, cut into 1/4” cubes and cooked until crisp
  • 1 Mozzarella Ball cut into 24 – 1/2 cubes
  • 3/4 cup  flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups  fine breadcrumbs
  • oil for deep frying



In a large saucepan, heat chicken stock over high heat; bring to a boil.

Add rice and reduce heat to a simmer.

Cook uncovered for approximately 15 minutes or until rice is al dente.

Drain rice and spread rice onto a large cookie sheet to cool.

Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

In a large bowl add rice, eggs and Parmesan Cheese; mix with a wooden spoon (or your hands) until incorporated.

Press a palm sized patty of rice into your hand.

Place a couple of pieces of pancetta, basil and a Mozzarella Cheese cube into the centre.

Add a teaspoonful of rice to cover the filling and pack it together to make a firm ball (a bowl of water is helpful to wet your hands as you make these).

Balls should be approximately 2” round.

Place balls on a cooking sheet as you go.

Roll each rice ball into flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs and place on cookie sheet.

Cover and refrigerate until ready to cook.

Add oil to a heavy saucepan and heat to a temperature of approximately 300ºF (150ºC).

Fry rice balls in small batches for approximately 3 minutes or until lightly browned.

Place cooked balls in a preheated 200ºF (95ºC) oven to keep them hot while you continue to cook remaining balls.

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