Arancini (gluten free)

You might not think Arancini are suitable for picnics, but I can eat them cold.  What is rice salad after all but cold rice with some flavourings?  Of course, they are yummy warm too, and the cheese is more fluid, but either way, they are yum.  You will get 12 from this mix.



I use my basic risotto recipe, with some modifications.

Leave out the bbq chicken and the peas.  Leave out the fire-roasted capsicums, and just use olive oil, or flavoured olive oil to start the risotto.  Cut up the spring onions very very finely.  For added colour, you can put a tiny pinch of saffron into the stock, otherwise your arancini might look a bit sickly when cooked.

Make up the rest of the risotto according to the recipe, but do this the day before you need it.  When the risotto is done, place in a greased dish, cover with plastic wrap, and put in the fridge overnight.  It needs to dry a little, and to ‘set’ as you will have to get your hands in it to finish it off, and obviously you can’t do this when it is hot and slippery.


To make the arancini:

Preheat the oven to 160 celcius fan forced, 180 if not. (I don’t like to deep fry them, I prefer to bake them).

I quantity risotto

Olive oil spray

100g mozzarella, cut into 12 cubes

1 cup gluten free breadcrumbs (you can use regular if you prefer) – have some extra on hand in case you need it

1/2 cup gluten free plain flour

2 eggs – small or medium


Divide your cold risotto into 12.  Form each into a ball around a cube of mozzarella, then roll around on a cutting board or your bench to form a conical shape (or if you are really clever, a pear shape, I have never mastered this).  Roll the arancini in flour, then dip in egg, then roll to coat in the breadcrumbs.  Place on a greased baking tray, then repeat with the other portions.  Spray all over well with olive oil, then put in fridge for a few minutes.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until crisp.


Cooked arancini can be wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen for up to three months.



Gluten free semolina gnocchi

My first attempt at potato gnocchi was a bit of a disaster, so I have tried a few alternatives.  This has three cheeses in it, so it is quite rich, you won’t need much.  This recipe serves 8, serve some vegetables or a salad on the side to cut through the richness.

Gluten free semolina gnocchi - three cheeses and sage burnt butter sauce

Gluten free semolina gnocchi – three cheeses and sage burnt butter sauce


1 litre milk

1 & 1/3 cups semolina

2 egg yolks (freeze the whites for a friand or a meringue later on)

35g (3 slices if using presliced) swiss cheese, grate finely or chop finely if it is the sliced variety

3/4 cup parmesan

120g mozzarella

170g butter

1/3 cup fresh sage leaves


Grease a 26cm X 18cm baking dish and set aside.  Pour milk into a large, heavy based saucepan, and bring to a simmer.  Add semolina, stirring until it thickens and starts pulling away from the sides of the pan.  Remove from heat.  Stir in swiss cheese, half a cup of the parmesan, 50g of the butter and the egg yolks.  When well combined, tip into the baking dish and smooth.  Refrigerate for approximately 2 hours, you need the texture to be firm and blubbery.


Preheat a fan forced oven to 160 celcius, 180 if not fan forced.  Upend the baking dish onto a clean chopping board, and with a little wiggle the mixture should come out upside down.  Cut into 8 pieces, and divide each piece into 4cm squares.  Place each into a baking dish, Divide 20g of the remaining butter into eight and dot each dish.  Sprinkle the remaining quarter cup of parmesan over each, then place a strip of mozzarella over the top.  Bake for half an hour.

Just before the gnocchi are cooked, melt the remaining butter in a small frypan, drop in the sage leaves and cook the butter until it is browned.  Pour over the gnocchi.


Mozzarella & tomato meatballs – gluten free

You know how it is, you make something all the time, then discover new dishes and forget to keep making the old ones.  Every now and then I look through my old recipe collection and the family enjoys a “blast from the past”.  This is so easy, as you don’t need to brown the meat, and you cook this in the microwave, so once it is done you can walk away and not have to hover around stirring and watching that the meatballs don’t stick to the pan as you would have to do if you were frying them.  With these, I keep the basic recipe the same, but the cheese in the middle changes depending on what happens to be in the fridge.   You just need to use a cheese that can be cubed and won’t melt completely – mozzarella is excellent, but you could also use a tasty cheese or even a haloumi.  This is a good way to use leftover cooked rice, otherwise you will have to cook it before mixing the meatballs.  I often plan to cook these the day after I cook rice, and cook extra, or you can freeze leftover cooked rice, and defrost it as you need it.  Anything to make life easier!

The quantity serves four, with salad or vegetables to accompany.

Mozzarella & tomato meatballs

Mozzarella & tomato meatballs


500g minced beef (you could use the mince of your preference, but I prefer beef here)

1 & 1/2 cups cooked rice

1 onion, chopped finely

1 tbsp dried parsley (or 2 tbsp fresh, chopped)

1 tsp gluten free worcestershire sauce

1 beaten egg

120g cheese, cubed (try to cut it into 18 pieces)

Plain flour, just enough to roll the meaballs in

1 tin of condensed tomato soup

1/2 cup water or stock

Salt and pepper to season

Mix the mince, rice, onion, parsley, sauce and the egg.  Put the flour on a plate.  Using a tablespoon, I put one spoonful of mix in my hand, then a piece of cheese on the mix, then another spoonful of mix, then using both hands, squish the meatball as tight as you can.  Then roll it around the plate of flour – it doesn’t have to be perfectly coated, just to pick up enough to thicken the soup a little as it cooks (the meat and onion will release a little moisture as they cook, so you need to counteract this).  Put the meatball in a microwave safe dish and repeat with more mix – you should get about 18 meatballs.  In a jug, mix the tomato soup, the stock or water, and some salt and pepper.  Pour over the meatballs and cover.  Cook on high for 20 minutes, then remove the cover and cook a further 10 minutes.