I am still up 5 lbs. and still coming off the high of eating aaaall the things in Italy last month. The memory is too romantic to not keep it going. Risotto is like a love affair; so wrong, yet so right. I actually didn’t get to have any risotto in while I was there, and I feel deprived. Time to remedy this! Rice and ground beef are both so versatile, but can both get really boring, am I right? This is a fun way to re-purpose house staples in a rich, creamy, unctuous, crispy way. Also, don’t we all have enough CSA broccoli this time of year to require such a creative derivation?


  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 3 (or 50) cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 head broccoli, stem removed. Cut into very small florets
  • 40 oz-ish Beef stock
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tbsp Trader Joe’s Umami (optional, but freaking yum)
  • Panko
  • 8 oz mozzarella (I like fresh buffalo) cut into 1cm cubes


  1. Toast arborio rice over medium high heat, turning constantly to avoid burning.
  2. Add ground beef and onion, and brown, turning constantly.
  3. Add white wine, keep stirring.
  4. Add beef stock one cup at a time as rice absorbs the liquid…
  5. Add garlic and broccoli. Yes, keep stirring. Now is the time to add the Umami spice if you are into that, otherwise, add a little bit of salt and pepper.
  6. When the broccoli and rice are tender, remove from heat and let cool down to touch temp.
  7. Pull 2 inch balls of the risotto mixture and make a depression that you can push the mozzarella into. Wrap the filling around it.
  8. Roll in panko bread crumbs (they make gluten free panko now!) and place on a cookie sheet.
  9. Bake at 400F for 30-40 minutes or until brown.
  10. Another option would be to pan fry the panko colored balls until golden brown.
  11. Serve with a pesto style sauce (also available at rainshadoworganics.com).