Archive of BBC Food Recipes

Wild mushroom risotto balls with beef carpaccio

Prep time 1-2 hours
Cook time 1-2 hours
Serves 4
From Saturday Kitchen
Crisp risotto balls are wonderfully paired with a flavourful beef carpaccio in this moreish Italian meal.


  1. For the risotto balls, in a medium saucepan, melt the butter and gently fry the shallot and garlic for 5 minutes, or until softened. Add the thyme and mushrooms and gently fry for 2 minutes. Stir in the rice until coated in the butter. Pour in the wine and allow to bubble for a minute or so.

  2. Add a ladleful of the stock, bring to the boil, and then reduce to a simmer, stirring constantly. Add another ladleful of stock and stir again until absorbed. Continue adding more stock in this way until the grains of rice are plump and creamy. It should take about 15-18 minutes. Fold in the mascarpone and Parmesan. Season to taste with salt and pepper and stir through the parsley. Leave to cool.

  3. For the beef carpaccio, season the beef fillet with salt and pepper. Heat a frying pan until smoking, add the olive oil and sear the beef for 2-3 minutes on all sides, until golden-brown. Remove the beef from the pan and cover in cling film and roll into a barrel shape, twisting tightly at both ends to seal. Refrigerate for 1 hour, or until firm.

  4. When the risotto is cool, use your hands to cover each mozzarella ball with the risotto. Shape into balls.

  5. Heat a deep-fat fryer to 180C. Alternatively, heat the oil in a deep heavy-based frying pan until a breadcrumb sizzles and turns brown when dropped into it (CAUTION: hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended.). Fry the risotto balls in the hot oil for 4-5 minutes or until golden-brown. Drain on kitchen paper.

  6. For the green sauce, put all the ingredients in a pestle and mortar and pound until you have a thick paste.

  7. Thinly slice the beef and fan it out on a large serving plate. Dot the green sauce around the plate and add the risotto balls. Drizzle with the extra virgin olive oil and top with bull's blood leaves and Parmesan shavings.


For the risotto balls

  • 15g/½oz butter
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 200g/7oz wild mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
  • 250g/9oz risotto rice
  • 100ml/3½fl oz dry white wine
  • 600ml/20fl oz chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp mascarpone or double cream
  • 2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan
  • 2 tbsp chopped flatleaf parsley
  • 200g/7oz small baby mozzarella balls
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the beef carpaccio

  • 300g/10½oz beef fillet, trimmed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

For the green sauce

  • 3 tbsp roughly chopped fresh mint
  • 3 tbsp torn fresh basil
  • 3 tbsp roughly chopped flatleaf parsley
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 unwaxed lemon, zest only
  • 2 tbsp capers, drained
  • 4 anchovies, roughly chopped
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

To serve

  • 10g/¼oz bull's blood leaves
  • 5g baby bull's blood leaves
  • ½ bunch rocket
  • Parmesan, shavings

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