Springtime Arancini served with Simple Tomato Sauce & Buffalo Mozzarella

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I can’t believe that I haven’t posted anything for April! I hate when that happens, but such is life! As always, I have a recipe over on beaut.ie every week, so you can always find me there if you don’t see any new posts here when you stop by. But this week I have a 2 for 1!

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This arancini recipe is so simple but so delicious. I have done an equally simple and delicious recipe for risotto over on beaut.ie. You can find it here. Made with peas, parma ham and pecorino (try saying that 3 times fast!) it is very light and summery and is the ideal base to make these arancini with.

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I’ve used Antonio Carluccio’s recipe from his Simple Cooking book as a guide, but with some slight adjustments. The beaut.ie recipe is enough for 4 people, but I deliberately  kept half of it as leftovers to make into these amazing arancini. The risotto will keep in the fridge for a day or two, and if for some strange reason you have arancini left over, they will also keep in the fridge for a day or 2. But I can’t see how that would happen as they are highly irresistible! This recipe makes enough for about 9 large arancini, or 18 teeny tiny ones.

Arancini ingredients:

450g (approx) leftover risotto

3 large eggs

80g sourdough breadcrumbs

50g parmesan

sea salt

black pepper

whole nutmeg

sunflower oil or any other flavourless oil for frying

 

Simple tomato sauce ingredients:

200ml passata

1 clove garlic

1 sprig fresh basil

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/4 – 1/2 dried chilli flakes

1/4 – 1/2 dried oregano

sea salt

black pepper

 

To serve:

Buffalo Mozzarella

Parmesan or Pecorino

 

Method:

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Beat the eggs in a small bowl.

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In a large bowl, mix the risotto with half the beaten egg, a pinch of salt, a good grinding of pepper, a good grating of nutmeg and the grated parmesan. This will be a very sticky, wet mixture but try and mix it as thoroughly as possible without turning it to mush.

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You can make these arancini as big or as small as you like. Carluccio makes them quite small and bitesize, perfect for party food. But traditionally they are made a bit larger, about the size of a small orange, hence the name arancini, so that is how I prefer them.

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You can also stuff them with cheese such as mozzarella, or chopped ham, but I recommend just making them as simply as possibly the first time, and serving the buffalo mozzarella on the plate.

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Using a tablespoon, scoop out a handful and shape them with wet hands into spheres.

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Roll the arancini in the beaten egg.

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Coat the arancini well in the breadcrumbs.

Leave on a plate to rest until you have the whole lot made and ready for frying.

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Heat the oil over medium high heat. To check if it’s hot enough, drop a little piece of bread in. It should sizzle and bubble immediately.

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Now you can either deep fry or shallow fry these, it’s entirely up to your own preference. I shallow fried mine, and they took about 5 minutes a side.

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Fry carefully until deep golden brown, then transfer to a warm oven and repeat with the rest of the mixture.

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Don’t try and fry them all at once, or you will cool down the oil and the whole lot will become soggy and oil soaked.

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To make the tomato sauce, warm the olive oil gently in a small pan, then add the oregano, chilli and smashed garlic clove.

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Do not fry this mixture at a high heat, rather warm it ever so gently to let the spices infuse the oil.

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Add the passata and turn up the heat to medium.

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Leave to simmer for at least 10 minutes. Finally, add a small pinch of salt, plenty of pepper and the torn basil leaves. This sauce works very well as a pizza sauce or with pasta too. I often make it in large batches and freeze it in a ziplock bag for later.

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To serve the arancini, spoon some of the sauce onto a plate. Arrange 3 arancini as elegantly as you can manage – this is about as fancy as I get when it comes to plating up food!

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Tear the buffalo mozzarella into small bitesize pieces and tuck it in between the arancini. Garnish with a little sprig of basil and shaving of parmesan or pecorino.

Serve them warm or cold with wine of your choice. Most importantly, enjoy!

 

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