Last I checked I’ve been Italian all my life, but I never had Arancini until just a few years ago when my as close as family friends, the Carosellas, discovered Arancini while on a trip to Rome. They came home and asked me to make it and it’s since become a family favorite. My wife and I went to Rome a couple of years ago, and tried the authentic version and this recipe may actually be better!
- 1 cup Arborio Rice (must be Arborio! Any other grain will not do!)
- Half a large onion – diced
- 32 oz Chicken Broth (heat to warm)
- 2 tbls Olive Oil
- 1 cup white wine (whatever wine you like to drink!)
- 1 cup Shredded parmesan cheese
- 1 cup Spaghetti sauce (if you don’t have a good recipe see the one in this blog!)
- 12 oz Fresh Mozzarella
- 1 Tbls Italian Style Breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup Parsley
- 1 Tbls butter
This recipe takes two days, but could probably be done in one if you start early in the day! First you make a good flavorful Risotto, let it set in the refrigerator over night and make the rice balls the next day.
- Dice half a large onion
- Heat a Dutch oven or large stock pot and add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- Add onion to the pot and heat until soft on medium heat, about 5 minutes
- Add 1 cup Arborio rice and stir for 30 seconds
- Add 1 cup white wine and stir constantly until the liquid is almost all absorbed
- Add one ladle of heated chicken broth at a time to the rice at a time, stirring constantly until the liquid is absorbed. Repeat this for 20 minutes. Rice should simmer but not boil on medium heat. Don’t walk away, this step takes constant attention. After 20 minutes taste the rice. It should be soft, not crunchy.
- Remove the rice from the heat and add a cup of shredded parmesan (best if you grate it fresh), 2 tablespoons chopped parsley, salt and pepper to taste (definitely taste it!) and a tbls butter and mix until melted.
- Let the rice cool in the fridge over night
Making the Arancini:
- Remove from the fridge and add 1 beaten egg, 1 cup spaghetti sauce (optional), and a dusting of Italian style bread crumbs and mix together
- Form a patty of rice in the palm of your hand and add a one inch square of fresh mozzarella in the middle and form a ball around it
- Roll the rice ball in bread crumbs and repeat until all of the rice is gone. This is a good time to pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees
- Fry the rice balls in a small sauce pan or deep fryer (peanut oil produces the best result because it doesn’t break down, but any oil will do, you just may need to replace it half way through if you’re using vegetable oil)
- Brown the rice balls until golden and place on a baking sheet
- Bake the rice balls in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees
- Serve with or without sauce