Last week my sister in law and I went to the movies and then after went to a new Pizza Place downtown. Pizza was fabulous but we also tried two appetizers, one was just bread the other was these wonderful little rice balls with marinara sauce. So after having them I of course went on a search for a good recipe. I've adapted this one from here . I think these will become a staple around the holidays, the rice can be made the day ahead along with the sauce, so it would be just a matter of assembling and then frying. I bet you could form the balls then just do the coating and they would stay together better. Will try that and let you all know if that is a better way to do them.
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cups (15 oz) Arborio rice (the best rice to use is Carnaroli, but it may be hard to find)
4 oz white wine
approximately 30 oz chicken stock
mozzarella, cut into ½″ to ¾″ cubes
marinara or bolognese sauce
2 eggs, beaten
more tomato sauce, to serve
basil leaves, for garnish
- Make the risotto by adding the rice to the heated oil in a large saute pan, and stirring quickly for one or two minutes. Quickly add the white wine while stirring. With the heat on medium high, begin adding the chicken stock a little at a time, and continuously stirring, until all the stock has been used and the rice is cooked, yet still al dente (I have a risotto recipe here on my blog). Taste; adding salt if necessary. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
- Add an egg to the risotto and mix well, then refrigerate for a few hours, or overnight.
- To make the arancini:
- Place some rice in your hand and flatten it into your cupped hand, but don’t make it too thin, or the filling will ooze out. Place a piece of mozzarella in the center of the cupped rice. Next, close the rice around the filling and shape into a ball.
- If you’d like to make conical shapes, flatten the bottom of the ball, and make the top more pointed.
- Now, roll the shaped arancini in flour, then roll them in the beaten egg, and finally the breadcrumbs. Set aside until all of the rice has been used.
- Heat some oil in a deep fryer, pot or wok until it is very hot. Add the arancini, and cook quickly, turning often so they don’t brown too much on one side. If serving immediately, fry for a few minutes, so the cheese will melt in the center. Remove from oil and place on paper towel lined plate or tray. (If you’d like to serve them at a later time, remove them quickly after just browning; then, just before serving, place them on a baking sheet and re-heat in the oven at 400ºF for 5 to 10 minutes.)
- Serve plain, or place on tray with a little tomato sauce and garnish with basil. You can also serve them with a little extra sauce on the side.