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September 28, 2018 – October 21, 2018

State Fair Recipe: Tomato Risotto Diablo

Posted in: Appetizers, Blue Ribbon, Party Foods, Recipes.

Donna Thomas-Dallas, TX
Best of Show–1st Place–Party Foods

Do you dare make this delicious recipe?! Try the 2015 Best of Show and State Fair favorite, Devil’s Risotto Balls!

Tomato Risotto Diablo


  • 1 T. butter
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 2/3 c. Arborio rice
  • 1/2 c. finely chopped onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 c. low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 (6-oz.) can no-salt-added tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2 T. grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Place butter and oil in a 1 1/2-quart microwave-safe bowl. Microwave, uncovered, on high until butter melts, about 1 minute. Stir in rice and microwave on high, uncovered, until rice begins to turn translucent, about 2 minutes. Stir in onion, garlic, broth, tomato paste, basil and red pepper flakes; blend well. Cover with microwave-safe plastic wrap (or use a lid) and microwave on high until mixture reaches a full boil, 7 to 9 minutes. Uncover rice, stir well and then continue to microwave on high, uncovered, for 7 to 9 more minutes or until rice is done. (Rice should be moist, al dente in texture, but not soupy or crunchy.) Remove from microwave and test rice for doneness. If dry or “crunchy, add up to 1/2 cup more broth and microwave for another 2 minutes until rice is tender. Stir in cheese; salt and pepper to taste and place in freezer for 20 to 30 minutes to prepare Devil’s Risotto Balls. Risotto must be thoroughly cooled before beginning Devil’s Risotto Balls. Either place in the freezer for 20 to 30 minutes or refrigerate for several hours before beginning recipe. Makes about 2 1/2 cups.

Devil’s Risotto Balls


  • 2 (1-oz.) mozzarella sticks
  • 1/2 c. panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 1/2 c. Tomato Risotto Diablo, chilled
  • 1 lg. egg, lightly beaten
  • Extra virgin olive oil for frying


Cut each mozzarella stick into 11 pieces; set aside. In a shallow bowl, combine bread crumbs and Parmesan; set aside. By heaping tablespoonfuls, roll risotto into a ball with your hands. Push one piece of mozzarella into center and close hole. Dip thoroughly in egg then in crumb mixture. Set aside and repeat until all balls are formed. (If balls are soft, place in refrigerator for 20 minutes to chill.) Heat 1/4 inch oil on high in large skillet. Place a few balls in “hot oil, leaving room to roll them and fry for 30 to 45 seconds each or until all sides are golden brown. Remove to plate covered with paper towels. Repeat until all balls are fried. Serve immediately with Creamy Parmesan Dipping Sauce.

Creamy Parmesan Dipping Sauce


  • 1/2 c. mayonnaise dressing with olive oil
  • 1 jar roasted red peppers, drained, finely chopped
  • 1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 T. fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic
  • 1/4 tsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1/8 tsp. ground black pepper


Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Chill, if desired. Serve with Devil’s Risotto Balls


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Mission Statement

The State Fair of Texas celebrates all things Texan by promoting agriculture, education, and community involvement through quality entertainment in a family-friendly environment.

The State Fair of Texas is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.


Mailing Address

P.O. Box 150009
Dallas, TX 75315



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