A selection of arancini

Arancini are fried rice balls coated with breadcrumbs, said to have originated in Sicily. Try Robert Cassar's take on them - some are flavoured with peas and the others with squid ink and have a deliciously crunchy coating, perfect for serving as a starter

 Arancini with peas  and arancini with squid ink 

Serves 4


For the risotto

  • 200g Arborio rice
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • Oil
  • Butter
  • 500g flour
  • 6 eggs
  • 500g breadcrumbs
  • Pea pure
  • Squid ink

For the Pea pure (cook and blend)

  • 1 onion
  • 200g peas
  • 50ml vegetable stock

For the coating

  • 500g flour
  • 6 eggs
  • 500g breadcrumbs


  1. Heat 2 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until softened but not browned.
  2. Stir in rice and cook for about three minutes. Ladle in stock bit by bit for 20 minutes, stirring often, until liquid is mostly absorbed.
  3. Place 100g of rice in 2 separate bowls.
  4. In one of these bowls, add one teaspoon of squid ink.
  5. In the other, add the pea pure.
  6. Scoop some of the risotto into your hand and roll into a balls.
  7. In three separate bowls prepare flour, breadcrumbs, and 6 beaten eggs. Season all bowls with salt and pepper.
  8. Working one at a time, dredge balls in flour, shaking off excess. Transfer to bowl with egg and turn to coat. Coat with breadcrumbs, pressing gently to adhere.
  9. Pour oil into a medium pan and carefully lower half of rice balls into oil with a slotted spoon and fry until deeply golden brown for approx. 6-8 minutes.

This recipe first appeared on Gourmet TV, March, 2019 

Watch the full episode below: