These more-ish fried rice balls filled with mozzarella are a Sicilian speciality and great as a tasty snack or starter.
- 3tbsp olive oil30g (1oz) butter
- 1 onion, peeled and chopped
- 250g pack saffron risotto rice
- 600ml (1 pint) chicken stock
- 60g (2oz) Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3tbsp chopped, fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 90g (3oz) mozzarella, diced
- 2-3tbsp plain flour
- 2 medium eggs
- 100g (3½oz) fine, dry breadcrumbs
- Rocket leaves, for serving
Heat a large pan with 1tbsp of olive oil and add the butter and onion. Cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally until the onion is softened, but not browned. Add the rice and stir for a few minutes to coat.
Increase the heat, add the stock and bring to the boil. Cover the pan and cook for 12-15 mins, stirring the rice occasionally.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the Parmesan and some seasoning. Spoon into a large bowl and chill for 15 mins.
Once chillled, stir in the parsley then wet your hands and roll the mixture into about 28 balls (a rounded tablespoon for each one). Push a cube of mozzarella into the centre of each ball. Chill the balls until firm.
Tip the flour onto a plate. In a shallow dish, beat the eggs and sieve into the dish. Place the breadcrumbs in a deep bowl. Dip each ball into the flour, then the egg and finally the crumbs. Chill while the oven heats up.
Set the oven to gas mark 6/200°C. Drizzle the rest of the olive oil over a baking tray, place the balls on the tray and roll them in the oil. Bake for about 25 mins, turning them after 10 mins, then again after another 10 mins. Serve with a rocket salad.