Crumbs' Parsley Pesto Aranchini Balls

  • Prep
    20 mins
  • Cook
    40 mins
  • Serves
  • Skill

For a traditional Italian delicacy, it’s difficult to find one as simple and satisfying as arancini. With a beautiful oozing centre of fragrant pesto, wrapped in risotto made from Bertolli with Butter and Olive Oli, aborio rice, chicken stock and parmesan, and coated in a beautifully-crispy Panko breadcrumb batter, this dish is bound to impress your friends as a snack or a main dish – delizioso!


  • - Risotto -
  • small bunch of spring onions
  • 20 g of Bertolli with Butter and Olive Oil
  • 250 g Arborio rice
  • 800 ml chicken stock, boiling
  • 15 g Parmesan, grated
  • - Pesto -
  • large bunch parsley
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 50 g toasted almonds
  • virgin olive oil - add to required consistency
  • - Arancini -
  • 60 g mozzarella, chopped into cubes
  • 1 egg
  • 170 g plain flour
  • water
  • panko breadcrumbs
  • oil to fry


  1. Place the Bertolli with butter in a large saucepan over the heat. Once it’s melted fry the spring onions until translucent.
  2. Add the rice, and fry until each grain is covered in oil.
  3. Slowly add hot stock, spoonful by spoonful until it’s all absorbed.
  4. Stir in the grated Parmesan and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Place in a flat bowl and cool quickly in the fridge.
  6. Whilst it is cooling, make the pesto.
  7. Place all the ingredients in a blender and blitz until they are a paste.
  8. Add enough olive oil so the paste is glossy and smooth (roughly 2 tbsps).
  9. Prepare the batter by mixing the flour and egg in a bowl. Add enough water to make the solution less dough-y and more like pancake batter.
  10. Pour out the breadcrumbs on to a large plate.
  11. Once the rice is cooled, stir in the mozzarella.
  12. Take a handful of rice, roll into a loose ball and spoon some pesto into the middle. Fold the ball around it a little and plug the gap with a little more rice.
  13. Place each ball in the batter, roll it in the breadcrumbs and put on a clean plate.
  14. Fill a large pan a third high with vegetable oil. Once the oil is hot – test by seeing if it sizzles when you throw a breadcrumb in it – add a batch of the arancini. Fry till golden and place on a paper towel, and repeat with the next batch.
  15. Serve.