Rice Balls

Prep Time

10 Minutes

Cook Time

60 Minutes


Serves 4-6


Most ingredients are available in Antonio’s Market!



6 cups Chicken Stock
2 tbsp Butter
1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 ea Onion, Finely Chopped
2 cups Carnaroli Rice
2 oz Beef Marrow (Optional but highly suggested!)
1/4 tsp Saffron Threads
6 tbsp Parmesan Cheese, Grated
Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to Taste

For the Balls

2/3 cup Mozzarella Cheese, cut into 1/4 inch dice
1 ea Egg, Beaten
3/4 cup Breadcrumbs
Canola Oil, For Frying
All-Purpose Flour, For Dredging

Method of Preparation

1. For the risotto- Bring the stock to a boil in a medium saucepan, then reduce the heat and keep at a bare simmer.
2. Warm the olive oil in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat.
3. Add the beef marrow, if using, and onion and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes.
4. Add the rice and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes.
5. Make sure every grain is coated with oil.
6. Add 1 cup of the stock and stir until the liquid is absorbed.
7. Continue adding stock, about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring frequently and making sure all the liquid is absorbed before adding more stock.
8. When half the stock has been added, add the saffron.
9. Continue to add stock.
10. Cook until the rice is just tender and creamy, about 15 to 20 minutes.
11. You may have some leftover stock.
12. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter, the Parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper to taste.
13. Let the risotto rest for a minute or two before serving to absorb the full color of the saffron, it should be a strong yellow color.
14. For the balls- spread the risotto over a baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap.
15. Set aside to cool or refrigerate overnight.
16. The next day, roll the risotto into walnut-sized balls.
17. Press a hole in the middle of each with your thumb, place some mozzarella cheese inside, and press the risotto around it.
18. For into a ball.
19. Roll each ball first in flour, then the beaten egg, followed by the breadcrumbs.
20. Heat the oil to 350 degrees F in a deep fryer.
21. Deep-fry the rice balls, in batched, for 3 to 4 minutes each.
22. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
23. Serve hot with a tomato dipping sauce.

Recipe Source

Tales of Risotto, Culinary Adventures from Villa d’Este by Jean Govoni Salvadore and Luciano Parolari