Turn leftover rice into gluten free arancini balls

Italianophiles Kimberley and Jove to cook, but they ADORE leftovers! Often they cook for the family, but the kids can be fussy because they are still so young…. So there are always leftovers floating around.

One of the best ways to use up leftover risotto or any kind of rice is to make arancini balls with this simpel recipe. Their son is gluten free, so we are dusting in gluten free flour, and coating in GF breadcrumbs. You can also use rice or quinoa flakes.

Normally, arancini are deep fried, but we are using the Philips air fryer to cook them – the texture is nice and crispy all the way around due to the circulating hot air, so no soggy bits! It’s great tasting fried food with up to 80% less fat, so it’s much healthier for the whole family.

Watch us teach Kimberley and Jonathan this recipe on Episode 4 of Kitchen Rescue on TenPlay

Risotto with pesto genovese and peas

Authentic Italian cooking is not what you think it is… too many people throw in way too many ingredients and it gets too complicated. The best Italian is always incredibly simple, with a short list of ingredients. This dish is so full of flavour, you don’t need to add anything else to it. But if you’re like Jonathan and need meat in your life, you can easily add some (on the side).

Italian dishes shine when the ingredients are of very high quality, and the dish is prepared with love and care.

Barilla Pesto Genovese is as authentic as you can get! It’s made from real Italian basil, and this classic sauce comes from the region of Liguria in the north east of Italy, where risotto is often loved even more than pasta! In fact, you can use this pesto in so many ways, of course pasta is delicious but you can also use it as a dip, spread on sandwiches, or tossed through a potato salad.

Kimberley and Jonathan love italian food, but they are busy parents, so this shortcut is perfect for them. Their son is gluten free and tends to have allergies to food additives, so this pesto is perfect – it’s free of preservatives.

Sunrice Arborio rice is very important in this dish, it‘s a shorter grain rice with a starchy texture – this gives the risotto it’s creamy consistency. It’s important to “fry” the rice before you start adding the stock, so that it retains its shape better.

Watch us teach Kimberley and Jonathan this recipe on Episode 4 of Kitchen Rescue on TenPlay

Never heat pesto or it will split – use in grilled chicken salad dressing instead

Do you love creamy pesto? What if we told you that you should never add cream to pesto? That’s right! Authentic Italian pesto dishes have a creamy consistency, but do not contain cream This is because of the emulsification of the nuts on to the sauce.

Pesto should be always creamy, and never oily. If it’s whipped together properly, like the Barilla Sun Dried Tomato Pesto, you should never see an oily layer on top. To stop it from splitting and becoming oily in home cooking, there is one very big rule – NEVER HEAT PESTO!

It should always be stirred through pasta off the heat, but it’s also delicious in many other dishes. In this warm chicken and vegetable salad, we have used the pesto in the dressing – water it down and you’ll see how m=lush and creamy the dressing is, with no added cream.

This dish is perfect for Italian food lovers Kimberley and Jonathan, especially since their son has allergies and the pesto is free of artificial preservatives (and full of yummy Italian tomatoes too!). It’s a quick and easy way to make a delish salad dressing on the go.

Watch us teach Kimberley and Jonathan this recipe on Episode 4 of Kitchen Rescue on TenPlay

Salmon Risotto with Lemon Dill Pangrattato

We recently demonstrated this dish at The Kitchens, at Robina town centre on the Gold Coast. There’s lots of delicious fresh produce in the centre, so we couldn’t help but share one of our favourite seafood dishes with all the locals.

One of the biggest lessons that we can learn from authentic Italian cooking is to cook risotto wet. It should be the texture of a thick soup, so that when you serve it on a plate (NOT a bowl) you can tap it on the bench top, and the whole mix should spread flat on the plate. Most people outside of Italy cook it too long and too dry – no one wants a thick squishy plate of gloop! You want the rice to be cooked al dente, so there’s just a little bit of bite to each granule of rice. The best rice to use is carnaroli – it holds its shape much better than Arborio.

Pangrattato simply means crispy fried breadcrumbs. Although its not a traditional topping for risotto, I just love the crunchy texture it adds to this dish.


Cacio e Pepe: Cheese & Pepper Pasta

You’ve probably seen this creamy cheesy pasta popping up in your social media new feeds if you follow any chefs or foodies. Its having a bit of a moment really, chef David Chang from Momofuku, Bon Appetite magazine and yours truly, are all obsessed with this super easy, delicious pasta that takes less then 10 minutes to make.

Everyone loves a quick recipe but for chefs or cooks in particular, when you’ve finished a long day standing over a hot stove or chopping board, you want something that’s going to satisfy your tastebuds with minimal effort. The parmesan cheese, which has to be freshly grated, is high in natural msg, which means not matter what its going to taste GOOOOOD!

So jump on the foodie band wagon, make this pasta at home, and take a video of the sumptuous sauce and upload it to your social networks and make all your friends drool. This is one foodie craze Id be happy to keep.

*See our tip below on how to make this pasta even better!

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Sammy & Bella

We're here to inspire all Australians to rediscover their family traditions and heritage through food.

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