Gorgonzola and Wild Mushroom Arrancini

Portalupi Wine

107 North Street
Healdsburg, CA 95448

  • RECIPE YEAR: 2017
  • RECIPE BY: Matthew Paille, Epicurean Escape Catering
  • YIELD: Serves 6
  • PAIRS WELL WITH: 2015 Old Vine Zinfandel

Portalupi hosted 12 of our wine club members in May 2017 for a rural, true Italian experience in Piemonte. One of our memorable meals started with arrancini paired with a wonderful Barbera in Monforte at the Da Felicin 5-star hotel's restaurant. We asked our favorite chef, Matte, to create a recipe that would capture the magic and excitement of that first night.


  • 1 cup dried wild mushrooms
  • 3 cups hot water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 1 cup thinly sliced button mushrooms
  • 1 cup Portalupi's Vaso di Marina Bianco
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup Gorgonzola Dolce, chopped
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
  • 6 cups rice bran oil
  • Salt, to taste
In a bowl, cover the dried mushrooms with the hot water and let soak for 2 minutes. Drain the mushrooms, reserving the soaking liquid. Chop the mushrooms into 1/4-inch pieces. 

In a large sauté pan, warm the olive oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until toasted, about 5 minutes. Add the button mushrooms and rehydrated mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Add the wine and stir until combined. Add the reserved mushroom soaking liquid a ladleful at a time and cook, stirring, until all the liquid is absorbed before adding more. Taste for tenderness. The rice should be just barely cooked with still a little toothiness or chalk in the middle, al dente. Add the butter and stir to combine, then stir in the Parmesan.

Spread the risotto out on a baking sheet to cool, then sprinkle the Gorgonzola over the top so it stays intact and doesn’t melt into the risotto.

To make the arrancini, place the flour, eggs and panko in separate bowls. Roll the risotto into balls, each 3/4 inch in diameter. (You can make them as big or small as you like, as long as they are the same size to ensure even cooking. We like them bite-size for easy snacking; you can hold a glass of wine in one hand and a snack in the other.) 

Once all the balls are rolled out, place them in the flour to coat, shaking off the excess; place in the eggs, shaking off the excess, and then in the panko. Return the balls to the eggs and then the panko again. We do two coats of panko as it provides a crispier texture and seals the balls well so the cheese doesn’t escape.

Once all the balls are breaded, refrigerate for at least 20 minutes or up to overnight. 

In a large pot, heat the rice bran oil to 375°F (the oil should reach 3 to 4 inches up the sides of the pot). Working in batches as needed, fry the balls until golden brown. Transfer to a platter and season with salt. Garnish with enoki mushrooms and parsley; perhaps a little arrabiata or marinara on the side would be delicious. Boun apetito!

Portalupi Wine

107 North Street
Healdsburg, CA 95448