Tuna and Roasted Red Pepper Risotto Balls

After a two post break I’m back on the Italian; I need weaning off the obsession slowly folks, I can’t quite go cold turkey! Sadly I did not have any mozzarella in stock (or other suitable equivalent cheese); otherwise this would have been a great arancini recipe. Mozzarella absent, this recipe is simply a great, crispy and flavoursome risotto balls.  Not only is this recipe amazingly tasty but it is also a great store cupboard  use up, so if it’s the end of the week and your fridge is getting empty then this a great recipe for you.

There may not be mozzarella in the balls but I made up for this by using some in the salad and crumbling in some lovely light Wensleydale cheese. It may not sound like the perfect match but honestly it worked really well, and it gave the meal a well-deserved British twist.

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Serves 2-3

–          1 tbsp olive oil

–          1 while onion – finely chopped

–          1 red pepper – finely chopped

–          2 clove garlic – finely chopped

–          125g risotto rice

–          125ml glass white wine

–          1 tbsp white wine vinegar

–          1 pint vegetable stock

–          130g drained tin tuna

–          1 tbsp capers – chopped

–          1 tbsp tomato puree

–          Juice ½ lemon

–          Bowl filled half with polenta and half with breadcrumbs

–          2 tbsp olive oil – for roasting

Heat the oil in a saucepan and gently fry the onion for 3-4 minutes until it starts to soften.

Add the pepper and the garlic and cook for a further 3 minutes, stirring regularly so the garlic doesn’t burn

Stir in the rice so that it is well coated in the onion mixture and then add the glass of wine and the vinegar, and stir until most of the liquid has been absorbed.

Add the tuna, capers and tomato puree; along with a ladle of the stock and again, continue to stir until most of the liquid has absorbed. Repeat this process with a ladle at a time of stock until the rice is cooked through and a little sticky.

Season with the lemon juice and the salt and pepper and set aside to cool for half an hour

Preheat the oven to 180’C

Once the risotto has cooled you will find it a lot thicker and easier to handle, so shape it into 9 balls and roll each ball in the breadcrumb mix

Pour the oil into an oven proof dish and then roll the balls in the oil before baking in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until golden and crispy

Serve with a crispy mixed salad, crumbly Wensleydale cheese and a sticky balsamic dressing. Oooo and it’s great with a paprika and lemon mayonnaise too.

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