Recipe for a summer picnic: Pea and Pecorino Arancini by Emma Cantlay

Words & Recipe by Emma Cantlay featured in Our Journal issue 2: Celebration.

Risotto can be transformed into wonderful, crispy arancini - so if you have some already made, skip straight to the end of the recipe. I like to make the risotto the night before and simply shape and fry it the next morning for some stress free picnicking.

arancini balls features in our raffia bowl




Makes 10

For the risotto:

1 shallot, finely chopped
1 tbsp oil
20g butter
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
125g arborio rice 
100ml dry white wine
550ml vegetable stock
150g peas - frozen is fine (100g for pureeing, 50g left whole)
30g pecorino, grated
Half a lemon

For the arancini:
1 egg, beaten
50g plain flour
60g breadcrumbs
A neutral oil for frying - vegetable or rapeseed 
Salt and pepper


  1. Heat the pan over a low heat, add the oil and half of the butter.

  2. Add the shallot, leave to sweat for 7 minutes, add the garlic and cook for a further minute.

  3. Add the rice to the pan, keeping the heat super low. Stir the rice and cook for around 3 minutes. You want it to start turning nice and translucent at the ends. Turn the heat up a little and add the wine. Let it look off before adding the stock. Add a couple of ladlefuls at a time - your risotto should take about 20 minutes of this until it’s fully cooked.

  4. Meanwhile, blitz 100g of peas with a stick blender.

  5. Once your rice is fully cooked, stir through the pureed peas, the remaining 50g of whole peas (if using frozen, add them in straight from the freezer, they’ll hold their shape better) the remaining half of the butter and the pecorino. Stir until all elements are fully incorporated.

  6. Add a squeeze of lemon and season to taste. Leave the risotto to cool in the fridge for at least an hour until completely chilled - or overnight if you have the time.

  7. Add the flour, breadcrumbs and egg into three separate wide, shallow bowls. Season each of the ingredients well.

  8. Roll a small handful of risotto. They should be roughly palm sized - a little bigger than a golf ball. You should be able to make around 10 in total.

  9. Roll each of the balls in the flour, followed by the egg and lastly, in the breadcrumbs.

  10. Heat around 1cm of oil in a frying pan until hot. Add the arancini into the pan and shallow fry. Do this in batches, not to overcrowd the pan, turning occasionally until they’re golden and crispy on all sides. Place on some kitchen paper to soak up any excess oil.


August 12, 2022 — Ebi Sinteh