Arancini balls are as far as I am concerned one of the worlds finest leftover recipes, perfect crisp leftover risotto rice balls!
What are Arancini?
The Italians are responsible for most of my favourite comfort food and these risotto balls are right up there with the best. It is largely a peasant dish designed to use up leftovers.
I have waxed lyrical about risotto in a previous recipes, it is one of my many ideas of food heaven.
This takes cooled risotto, wraps it in breadcrumbs, deep-fries it and makes it food heaven²!
Unfortunately, the notion of leftover risotto is completely alien to me!
No matter how much I make it will always be eaten and the pan will be wiped clean.
It is a challenge but knowing how good Arancini are then I muscle through!
What Risotto To Use?
You can make these leftover rice balls with any of my risotto recipes, or indeed any risotto.
- Tomato Risotto.
- Balsamic Leek and Mushroom Risotto.
- Pureed Pumpkin Risotto.
- Spinach and Mushroom Risotto.
Naturally, all of these will result in a slightly different flavour of arancini.
Just make sure that if you have vegetables in there that you serve them in your main dish.
Alternatively, chop them finely as larger chunks will make rolling your Arancini more difficult.
Larger chunks also run the risk of your balls falling apart and nobody wants that to happen!
Can You Bake Arancini?
Yes, baked arancini is definitely a thing.
I personally prefer to fry mine as the immediate immersion in hot oil offers the simplest and most reliable way of cooking them.
However, if frying is not your thing you can heat your oven to high. Around 200°C or 400°F will do and then bake until golden.
All of the ingredients are already cooked so all you need to do is bring to temperature and get a nice colour. This should take around 20-25 minutes.
When making your risotto for arancini you need to ensure it is cooled as quickly as possible to avoid the growth of bacteria.
For the Arancini
- 450 g Left Over Cold Risotto
- 60 g Mozzarella
- 1 Egg
- 60 g Breadcrumbs
- 30 g Seasoned Plain Flour
- Oil for Deep Frying
For the Tomato Side
- 1/2 Tbsp Cooking oil
- 1 Onion
- 2 Cloves Garlic
- 1 Stick Celery
- 200 ml Tomato Passata
- 1 Tbsp Tomato Puree
- 1/2 Tsp Dried Oregano
- 150 g Tomatoes
- 4 Fresh Basil Leaves
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
- Cut the mozzarella cheese into 10 evenly sized chunks.
- Take around 70g of your cold cooked risotto and form into a flat circle in the palm of your hand.
- Place a single chunk of Mozzarella in the middle and wrap around the remaining risotto rice.
- This should form a fairly smooth ball fairly quickly.
- Repeat with the remaining risotto, this will make 6 balls, set aside in the refrigerator whilst you prepare the sauce.
- Finely dice the onion, celery and garlic.
- Heat the oil for the tomato accompaniment over a medium high heat in a frying pan.
- Add in the onion, garlic and celery and cook without colouring until soft which should take approximately 10 minutes.
- Pour in the tomato passata, tomato puree and oregano then allow to cook for a further 5 minutes.
- Add salt and pepper to taste and I like to then blitz my sauce in a blender and pass through a fine sieve but this is optional.
- If you are blitzing your sauce return it to the pan and reduce to a texture you are happy with.
- Now heat your deep fat fryer or oil in a pan to 160°C or 320°F.
- Panne the Arancini by rolling them in the seasoned flour, then into the beaten egg and then into the bread crumbs.
- Then take the risotto balls and fry them in the hot oil until golden brown which should take about 8-10 minutes, you may need to do this in batches.
- Whilst they are frying deseed the tomatoes and dice them and finely slice the basil leaves.
- Get creative with your presentation!
The timing for this dish refers to the Arancini only and not the tomato accompaniment.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 876 Total Fat: 31g Saturated Fat: 11g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 18g Cholesterol: 140mg Sodium: 1589mg Carbohydrates: 83g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 6g Sugar: 12g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 27g