Hello hellooo, the day is finally here… Arancini😍😍!!! Hands down, one of my favourite party appetizers!! I mean, deep fried Risotto, who wouldn’t
like LOVE that?!? If you don’t love it, our friendship probably ends here…Sorry🙃
OK, so Arancini what it is, where’s it from, how can you make it!! I’m gonna tell you all of it!!! WHAT: So the actual word Arancini means “Little Oranges” which that is kinda what they look like when they are golden and fried up. Many different versions of Arancini out there because you can literally make it with whatever left over Risotto you have. You can also stuff it… with cheese… hello! That’s usually what I do, make it with leftovers but if I’m making a batch for a Party, I’ll make a recipe of Risotto 100% dedicated to these little balls of heaven. Also, I need to mention that you can totally prep these ahead of time. I make them, then freeze them so they are ready to fry up whenever I need them.
WHERE: Arancini are a traditional Sicilian dish, which are traditionally stuffed with meat ragu and peas. Which is delicious, but I feel like we change the traditional version a lot by just making it with whatever Risotto we are making. All though, stuffing with meat ragu is a very good idea, so try it sometime! The Arancini’s cousin, the Suppli, is also delicious and quite similar and to be honest when we travelled to Italy I couldn’t really see the difference between the two besides the name being different. The Suppli is traditional to Rome, and the ones I had were a tomato risotto stuffed with cheese, they were perfection.
I mean… look at that melty cheese! YUM!!! Bottom line, both Arancini & Suppli are fried balls of cheesy carbs and they are both equally amazinggg.
HOW: So like I said, you can make these with leftovers or dedicate a whole recipe to them. You could totally use either my Mushroom Risotto, Butternut Squash Risotto or any of your favourite Risotto recipes. For these particular Arancini I made a Basic Risotto and added Pancetta, easy peasy. 1 recipe gave me about 18 Arancini. I used a small scoop, which is probably like 2 TBSP. You can also make larger Arancini, and serve them in a pool of Marinara as an appetizer for a sit down dinner, fork and knife style but I like these smaller ones for parties as they are easy to grab and eat in few bites.
– To make the Arancini, you need to cool your Risotto completely. I find it works better if you make it a day ahead, then it really has a chance to cool completely and firm up!
– So at this point, using the scoop. Scoop out as many little balls as you can. I usually scoop them all out them roll them between by hand to make them perfectly round. But, let me be clear on this, even if they are not perfectly round, they will be perfectly delicious!!! Set them onto a parchment paper lined dish and pop them in the freezer for an hour or so. I find freezing them makes them easier to work with.
– You’ll need 3 dishes, 1 for Flour, 1 for Eggs and 1 for Breadcrumbs. I can’t really give you specific ratios because it really depends on how many Arancini you are making and that can vary. So “eyeball” it, maybe use a little less than you think then you can always add more if you need more to prevent waste. Important step: Season. All. The. Steps. Salt & Pepper in Flour, Eggs and Breadcrumbs. First they go in the flour (shake off the excess), then in the eggs lastly in the breadcrumbs (bread crumbs I do a mix of breadcrumbs and panko). It can get messy so I try to use one hand for dipping and the other to transfer to the dish. When all of them are coated, you can either fry them up now or pop them in the freezer until ready to use. Oh, and yes, these are fried… not the same if you bake them. Tried it, not. the. same. I like working with a deep fryer because it’s just easier, but you could also shallow fry them in a dutch oven using a thermometer. The oil should be around 350, fry them for about 4 minutes. You can keep your oven on at 250-300 and pop them in there to keep them warm until ready to serve.
You can serve them as is or with a side of Marinara, Pesto or maybe some Pesto Aioli! YUM.
Anyways, which ever way you decide to serve these ,whatever Risotto you decide to use, it will be freaking amazing. Make these during your Holiday Festivities, you will not regret it!
Arancini aka Fried Risotto aka Little Balls of Heaven!! Delicious in Every. Way. Possible. Make them, ASAP😊
Basic Risotto Recipe:
- 150grams of Pancetta, diced
- 1/2 Cup minced shallots (you could also sub white onion)
- 2 Cups Arborio Rice
- 1 1/2 Cups Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 6 Cups Chicken Broth, preferably homemade
- 3/4 Cups White Wine
- Salt & Pepper
For the Arancini:
- AP Flour
- 4-5 Large Eggs
- Bread Crumbs
- Salt and Pepper
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Freshly Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese, for serving
- Fresh Basil, for serving
- Marina Sauce, Pesto, Pesto Aioli for serving
- Optional: small chunks of Mozzarella Cheese for stuffing
For the Risotto:
- In a medium pot, bring broth to a simmer and keep warm on low heat.
- Over medium-low heat in a medium size Dutch Oven, add a few TBSP of EVOO and the diced pancetta. Cook until browned and crispy, 8 minutes or so. Using a slotted spoon, carefully removed the cooked pancetta into small dish, set aside until ready to use.
- If you have a decent amount of fat left in the pan (about 1/4 cup) add the minced shallots directly into the fat. If your pan is a bit dry, add a few drizzles of EVOO, let it heat up and then add the shallots. You want to cook the shallots for about 2 minutes until they are translucent, not browned.
- Increase the heat to medium and add the rice. Toast the rice for about 2 minutes while stirring frequently.
- Deglaze the pan with the wine, set the timer for 18 minutes.
- Once the wine has reduced by about half, slowly start incorporating the broth. Using a ladle, adding about 1/2-1 cup at a time and stirring the rice in a figure 8 movment (you don’t have to stir constantly for 18 minutes but every 30-60 seconds). Don’t add to much broth* at once, the progressive additions of broth and constant stirring is what develops the starch and creates that creamy texture. Start tasting your Risotto around 16 minutes for doneness. It should be “Al dente”. Mine usually takes about 18-19 minutes.
- When the rice is cooked to your liking, remove from heat, add the grated cheese and the crispy pancetta. Stir everything to combine and adjust seasoning to taste. Serve immediately.
- If you are making this recipe fully for Arancini, Spread the Risotto into a 9X13 Dish and cool completely in the fridge.
For the Arancini:
- Once the Risotto is cooled completely, use a small scoop (about 2 TBSP) and make as many Arancini you can with the mixture you have. This may vary depending if you use leftovers or make the recipe above. This recipe should make about 18-20 Arancini. They should be about the size of a golf ball.
- Once you’ve scooped out all the Arancini. Using your hands, try to shape them so they are nice and round. Set them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and set them in the freezer for about an hour to firm them up. This makes them easy to work with in the breading process.
**If you want to stuff the Arancini with cheese, when you scoop them out, make a small disk. Place the cheese in the middle and fold the edges around to cheese then shape into a ball.
- You will need to set up a breading station:
– The first dish: AP Flour, seasoned with salt & pepper. I would say start with like a heaping cup.
– The second dish: Beaten eggs, seasoned with salt & pepper. Start with 4 eggs then you can always add another on if you need more.
– The third dish: A mixture of breadcrumbs and panko, seasoned with salt and pepper.
- One Arancini at a time, dip them in the flour, shake off the excess, then dip them in the eggs mixture. Lastly, coat completely in the breadcrumb mixture, shake off the excess. Place them on the baking sheet and continue until they are all coated.
- At this point, you can pop the Arancini in the freezer until ready to use or proceed to frying them. I like using a deepfryer but a dutch oven filled with oil with a thermometer works well also. Set the oil to 350 and work in batches. It should take about 4 minutes or so, until they are golden brown.When they come out of the oil, set them on a paper towel lined dish, season them with salt. Then, keep them in a 250-300 degrees oven to keep them warm until ready to serve.
- When you plate them up, top them with some freshly grated parm, chopped basil and serve them up with your dipping sauce of choice.
Keywords: Arancini, Risotto, Appetizers