Featured Recipes
Recipe risotto Header

White Truffle Arancinis (Risotto Balls)

by Carnivore Café (The Toledo Zoo)

This is just one of the many incredible recipes you can enjoy at a Toledo Zoo catered event (and now at home too). Chef’s tip: serve any sauce of your choice with them like Pesto or homemade marinara would be nice.


  • 1 box of Arborio rice
  • One large diced yellow onion
  • ¼ stick butter
  • 4-5 Tbls. Extra Virgin Olive oil
  • 3 qts chicken or vegetable stock, simmering in separate pot (The better the stock, the better the risotto!!)
  • 2 cups finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 1 bottle of GOOD white truffle oil (If you can’t find very flavorful oil, use more of the “cheap” kind)
  • 3 cups dry white wine
  • A large wooden spoon for stirring, metal breaks the rice.
  • Salt and white pepper to taste



  1. In a very large skillet or sauté pan, or two medium ones, sauté the onion in the butter and olive oil over medium heat until translucent.
  2. Making sure there is still plenty of fat in the pan, the rice soaks up quite a bit, add more if needed, sauté the rice with the onions increase the heat to high at this point, until the rice begins to brown slightly.
  3. At this point, your pan(s) will be quite hot and dry, the rice having absorbed all of the fat and any liquid from the onions. Quickly add all of the white wine and use it to clean the bottom of your pan(s). This will evaporate quickly! From now until the rice is done, stirring should be your main focus. 
  4. After the wine has evaporated, lower your heat to hi-medium and begin adding your stock a ladleful at a time, keeping the rice wet but not fully submerged. STIR, STIR, STIR and STIR.
  5. When you’ve added most of your stock and the rice is visibly larger, check for doneness by smearing a few grains across your cutting board. It should be soft with a small “seed” still left in the middle. In the mouth this would fell “al dente”. If it’s not quite done, keep going, using hot water if your stock is depleted.
  6. If it is al dente, add salt and pepper and stir in the Parmigiano and as much white truffle oil as you can stand, the flavor of this will diminish in the freezer so go big! 
  7. At this point, the risotto should be edible in its own right. It should be drier than it would be for an entrée, if not, let it rest over a low flame while stirring to evaporate any excess moisture. A good spoonful should be able to stand on it’s own on your cutting board.
  8. Spread the contents of your pan out onto one or two baking sheets and cool rapidly in the refrigerator. 
  9. Using a small ice cream scoop and your own hands, make your balls any size you wish: from tennis ball sized for a hearth appetizer to be shared, to a quarter sized ball for a dainty hors d oeuvre. 
  10. Place the balls on another sheet tray and freeze at least halfway.
  11. Toss the balls in some egg batter and roll in panko breadcrumbs
  12. If not enough breadcrumbs stick to the balls (11) redo the process.
  13. Freeze balls over night and deep fried (350) whenever is needed.
  14. Check doneness by opening one.