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A lovely starter or great finger food for a buffet. Makes a great meal served with garlic bread and salad. Definitely worth making for its own sake, but is also a great way to use up leftover risotto. This originally came from the Good Housekeeping Vegetarian book.
- Begin by making a basic white risotto. Peel and finely chop the onion.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan, and fry the onion for 5 minutes.
- Pour in the white wine and boil rapidly until most of the liquid is gone.
- Add the rice, and stir to coat with the onion and wine.
- One ladle at a time, add the stock, and simmer until almost completely absorbed (keep an eye on this - it'll stick to the bottom of your pan like nobody's business!).
- Continue until the rice has been cooking for ~20 minutes and it is soft and creamy but still has a little bit of bite to it.
- Season generously (if you can't find fresh Basil then at this point stir in a healthy portion of dried Basil or Mixed Herbs) and add the parmesan.
- Stir in the beaten egg (If you're making a big batch and planning to eat some, then obviously do this after you've taken out tonight's meal!)
- Allow to cool completely (ideally overnight - but half an hour in the fridge should do it. It's just easier to handle when completely cold).
- Spoon 1tbsp of the risotto into the palm of your hand.
- Place a basil leaf and a piece of mozzarella - about half an inch across - on top of the rice.
- Add another spoon of risotto and shape into a smooth ball.
- Roll the ball in breadcrumbs until evenly covered.
- Heat a pan of oil (use the smallest pan you have available to minimise wastage) until it is smoking hot and then fry the balls, a few at a time, for 3-5 minutes until golden brown.