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!
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.
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.
450g (approx) leftover risotto
3 large eggs
80g sourdough breadcrumbs
sunflower oil or any other flavourless oil for frying
Simple tomato sauce ingredients:
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
Parmesan or Pecorino
Beat the eggs in a small bowl.
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.
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.
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.
Using a tablespoon, scoop out a handful and shape them with wet hands into spheres.
Roll the arancini in the beaten egg.
Coat the arancini well in the breadcrumbs.
Leave on a plate to rest until you have the whole lot made and ready for frying.
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.
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.
Fry carefully until deep golden brown, then transfer to a warm oven and repeat with the rest of the mixture.
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.
To make the tomato sauce, warm the olive oil gently in a small pan, then add the oregano, chilli and smashed garlic clove.
Do not fry this mixture at a high heat, rather warm it ever so gently to let the spices infuse the oil.
Add the passata and turn up the heat to medium.
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.
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!
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!