Aldo’s arancini

A heart-warming wild mushroom arancini dish from celebrity chef Aldo Zilli

To celebrate Aldo’s exciting partnership with Lucarelli restaurant in the Mailbox, the celebrity chef is sharing one of his favourite and incredibly tasty recipes with us this month. There’s only one word to add – Enjoy!!


• 200g risotto rice

• 2 tbsp white wine

• 600ml vegetable stock

• 20g onion, chopped

• 50g mozzarella, cubed

• 20g Parmesan cheese, grated

• 200g breadcrumbs

• 5 eggs

• 100g flour

• 30g wild mushrooms ragu (see below for Aldo’s special recipe)

• 60g butter

• 500ml vegetable oil (for cooking)

• Salt/pepper


The rice needs to be precooked at least two hours before.

Place the chopped onion in a large pan with 20g butter at low heat, when the onions are soft and cooked add the rice. Leave for few minutes and add the wine. Leave to evaporate and start to add the stock just to cover the rice. Stir during the cooking and add more stock when necessary. The rice will take about 19 minutes to cook.

When the rice is cooked take off the heat, add the Parmesan cheese, butter, adjust with salt and pepper to taste. Leave to cool in a ventilated area.

Place the flour in a tray, whisk the eggs in a bowl add salt and pepper, place the breadcrumbs in a tray. When the rice is cold with your hand form a ball, make sure you wet your hands so the rice will not stick to your hands. When you have done all the balls, with your finger make a hole in the middle, insert some mushrooms ragu and reshape the arancini. Place them in the flour, then in the eggs and at the end in the breadcrumbs.

Set on the side. When all are done, place the vegetable oil in a pan, bring to about 170c. Place the arancini in the oil and leave them to cook until golden brown. Drain the rice balls on kitchen paper and serve with tomato sauce on the side.

Aldo’s Wild Mushrooms Ragu recipe:


• 100 g mix wild mushrooms
• 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
• 1 tbsp parsley, chopped
• Salt/ Pepper to taste
• 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
• 1 tsp fresh chilli
• ½ tsp thyme
• 1 tbsp white wine
Wash and dry the wild mushrooms, slice them if necessary. Place the oil in a pan on low heat, add the garlic, chilli, thyme. Add the wild mushroom increase the heat. Add the wine and leave to evaporate. Mix well. When mushrooms are cooked add the parsley, salt and pepper. Leave to cool down. Chop the mushrooms fine and use.

Lucarelli Restaurant, Mailbox, 117 Wharfside Street, Birmingham, B1 1RF. Tel: 0121 665 6762,