Anyone who loves risotto will tell you the best kept secret is the arancini

Arancini is the ultimate delight of using up left risotto to create a dish that is equally if not more enjoyed than the original.

I have given you the recipe from scratch. The other option is to make a larger batch of risotto than you need on the first night – and use the leftovers for arancini the next!

Crispy Risotto Cakes (arancini)

You can make these from left over risotto - it's the final treat


  • cups arborio rice
  • 225 g pancetta diced
  • 1 litre chicken stock
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 medium shallot or ½ small onion chopped (about ½ cup)
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbsp chopped Italian parsley
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • breadcrumbs
  • 1 extra egg


  1. Heat the stock to a simmer in a medium saucepan, then lower the heat so that the stock just stays hot.
  2. In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the oil and the pancetta over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes, until the fat has rendered out and the pancetta is a nice golden brown.
  3. Remove the pancetta and set it aside, but leave the fat in the pot. Add the chopped shallot or onion. Sauté for 2-3 minutes or until it is slightly translucent.
  4. Add the rice to the pot and stir it briskly with a wooden spoon so that the grains are coated with the fat. Sauté for another minute or so, until there is a slightly nutty aroma. But don't let the rice turn brown.
  5. Add the wine and cook while stirring, until the liquid is fully absorbed.
  6. Add a ladle of hot chicken stock to the rice and stir until the liquid is fully absorbed. When the rice appears almost dry, add another ladle of stock and repeat the process
  7. It's important to stir constantly, especially while the hot stock gets absorbed, to prevent scorching, and add the next ladle as soon as the rice is almost dry.
  8. Continue adding ladles of hot stock and stirring the rice while the liquid is absorbed. As it cooks, you'll see that the rice will take on a creamy consistency as it begins to release its natural starches.
  9. Continue adding stock, a ladle at a time, for 20-30 minutes or until the grains are tender but still firm to the bite, without being crunchy. If you run out of stock and the risotto still isn't done, you can finish the cooking using hot water. Just add the water as you did with the stock, a ladle at a time, stirring while it's absorbed.
  10. Stir in three-fourths of the pancetta along the butter, the parmesan cheese and the parsley, and season to taste with Kosher salt.
  11. Cool and add the egg. (you can put this in the fridge overnight or at least for 1 hour)
  12. Take scoops of cooled risotto and form into balls. Dip them in the extra egg, which you need to lightly whisk with a fork, and then into the crumbs.
  13. Heat some olive oil in a pan and fry the risotto cakes until golden. Top with crispy prosciutto and goats cheese (or your favourite flavours)
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