Arancini means 'little orange' in Italian, they are fried balls of risotto and are great as a starter or funky nibbles.

There are loads of cool variations and flavours you can play with with Arancini. Here's a simple spicy tomato recipe that is sure to please.

Recipe serves 10 people

Preparation time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients: 800g arborio rice

150g white onion (diced)

35g chilli (with seeds)

20g garlic (crushed)

1 litre vegetable stock

100ml olive oil

400g tinned chopped tomatoes

5 eggs

150g Parmesan (grated)

400g breadcrumbs (you can buy them, or grate stale bread yourself)

50g shredded basil

50g flour

Method: In a large pan sweat the Onion, chilli and garlic in olive oil.

Meanwhile have a pan of boiling vegetable stock to your side.

Add the rice, you need to cook the rice without any liquid until the grains start to crack, it should take approx 5 minutes at a medium heat.

Pour in the chopped tomatoes Start to add your stock one ladle at a time, constantly stirring making sure the rice isn't sticking to the pan.

Repeat the process, to tell it is ready you should punch a grain between your finger and thumb, it should break into 3 pieces.

Also taste it, it should be Al dente (crunchy).

Season to taste.

Pour the risotto into a dish, ideally a big one to maximise the surface area so it will cool quicker.

Once it is cool enough to touch, throw in your shredded basil, half your breadcrumbs and 2 eggs Mix well with your hands.

When it is all mixed in and it starts to feel firm, roll it into small balls, it is up to you how big you want them, I would recommend around 30-40g per ball.

 When you have your balls, you need to panè them, which is French for coating in breadcrumbs.

You need one tray of flour, one of whisked eggs and one of the remainder of your breadcrumbs.

Coat the balls in the flour, egg then breadcrumbs.

This part could be one for the kids if you don't mind them getting too messy!

To cook the rice balls, if you have a deep fryer available then fry for 3-4 minutes at 180 degrees.

If you don't have a fryer then pan fry them to colour the breadcrumbs a nice golden brown, then finish in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for approx 6 minutes.

They are brilliant served up with arrabiatta sauce, or a chilli yoghurt dip!

Main: Roasted Chicken Breast on a Wicked Minty Pea Mash The dark days are over, and this little dish is just the one to brighten up your day and anyone else who you decide to feed your delights too.

This recipe is perfectly complimented by a courgette and mint salad, peel the courgettes to create ribbons and dress in extra virgin olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice.


Recipe serves 2 people

Preparation time: 1 hour

Ingredients: 2 free range chicken breasts

25g thyme

2 cloves of garlic

1 lemon

1 chilli

240g frozen peas

120g fresh mint

200ml olive oil

20g unsalted butter

4 rashers of streaky bacon

Method: First things first.. Let's make a lovely marinade for the chicken.

Finely chop loads of thyme, zest 1 lemon and finely chop one clove of garlic.

Mix the herbs, garlic and lemon with olive oil and rub over the chicken.

Season the chicken and place in a pre heated oven at 200 degrees.

Boil the kettle and pour the water over the frozen peas.

Once thawed drain them, place them in a food processor with 3/4 of the fresh mint.

Blitz it until smooth, gradually adding olive oil to help it blend.

To help it become smoother add the butter Taste it for seasoning, if you like add a squeeze of lemon juice.

In the oven crisp up your rashers of bacon, in a pan warm your pea puree.

Finely chop the remaining mint and one chilli, add olive oil to create your mint and chilli oil for dressing Spoon your pea mash onto a plate.

Place your crispy bacon rashers over the top.

Take out the chicken breast once ready.

Immediately hit it with olive oil and lemon juice.

Place on top of the bacon, drizzle some chilli and mint oil over Serve with a springy salad Simple and delicious.

Makes you forget about those dingy months we have just had!