Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Risotto to Arancini - leftovers to leftovers the Italian way

Risotto to Arancini the Italian Way

The Italians are genius' when it comes to food and leftovers.   Cold Pizza....great.   Reheated Lasagna still great.   Polenta leftover and then fried even better.

This week I took a few leftover things like Roasted chicken and chicken stock I made from the roasted chicken bones and roasted vegetables and used them to make a great Risotto with frozen peas, leftover white wine and some Pernod and of course the king of cheeses, Parmesan.

The next day I had lots leftover still in the fridge and in the genius Italian way I turned the leftover rice into Risotto Balls.   Normally you add mozzarella cheese in the middle and roll in egg and breadcrumbs but I skipped the mozzarella since it already had chicken and peas and loads of parmesan in the rice.
I don't know who invented this idea of what to do with leftover Risotto but it was a brilliant idea.   Risotto balls are just as delicious as the Risotto was on the first bite.   No crappy leftovers here.

I am not a leftover lover normally unless it's a rethink and re purpose in a smart way like adding grilled zucchini or something into a vegetable lasagna or using stale bread for a fondue, crouton or bread crumbs.   Maximizing efficiency and taste.

I loved both versions of this tasty spin on Arborio Rice and encourage you to think about your leftovers they way people used to have to use every last bit of their food in whatever way not to waste any money or food in their families.

In North America we waste way too much food and living by myself makes me guilty of it way more than I would like to admit.   You have to be super creative or plan your meals for what you will do if there are leftovers.  Whether you turn them into something else, freeze them, can them or just give it away to friends.   Try and think about it before you end up tossing it into the garbage can.  

Remember what your mother used to say...."there are children starving in Africa that would love to eat your food".... it is true and because we heard it so much we stopped thinking about it.

Today is World Food Day in the US...  a good day to think about people in the World that don't have enough food to eat on a daily basis.

Appreciate your food and respect what you do with it.


  1. Your risotto balls look amazing Linda!! Can you invite me over next time you decide to make them? LOL

  2. Joanne, we need to live closer to each other... i would swap desserts with you if i make anything you like.... and you know i never plan anything... just cook from craving something and depends on what i got and how lazy I am to cook.. this time I thought about the Risotto balls after I saw how much I had leftover Risotto.... but I hardly ever plan what I am going to eat...very random.. my stomach dictates what I eat most of the time.

  3. I'm generally that way also. I cook based on what I feel like having that day (and what's in my fridge) but I've been trying to plan my meals more often lately. It prevents me from throwing out food that has been sitting in the fridge for too long. I know, too bad you don't live closer. I'd be ringing your doorbell every Sunday afternoon offering you loaves of bread (or desserts) from school.

  4. I wouldn't mind that kind of door knock... fresh bread every sunday... that would be awesome..


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