Arancinis apparently originated as far back as the 10th Century in Sicily and refer to fried risotto balls with ground meat fillings. The term arancini in Italian means little oranges.
There are multiple flavours and filling options for arancini. Some of these are:
- onion, capsicum, garlic, and pesto
- sun dried tomatoes
- chicken and leek
- cooked mince
- veal ragu
Most filling combinations also have a cheese component. I have come across several including:
- talegio, and
The rice itself can also be infused with flavours including:
- lemon or orange zest
- herbs – sage, thyme, parsley, basil, chives
The variations for serving arancinis are also varied. It can be used as an antipasto, or larger as a full course. It makes a great summer lunch served with a salad.
In this instance, I had some left over sundried tomato risotto from the night before. I had made the risotto and set aside some for the arancinis before stirring in baby spinach which we had for dinner. I have also decided to make the arancinis large as to serve with a salad for lunch.
breadcrumbs (or panko)
Mozzarella cheese (cut into 1 cm cubes)
Heat oil to 180C in a pan.
Prepare 3 bowls – one with plain flour, the second with beaten eggs, the third with breadcrumbs.
With slightly damp hands, place 1/4 cup risotto into your palm.
Start shaping risotto into a ball.
Before completing the ball, place and indent in the middle. Place a cube of mozzarella into this then finish rolling the ball.
Repeat process until you have enough balls.
Take a ‘rice ball’ and roll in flour. Gently shake off excess flour then dip in egg. Immediately roll in breadcrumbs ensuring you have an even coating all over.
Once you have completed this process, fry the arancini in small batches until golden in colour.
Serve warm and enjoy the soft gooey melted cheese in the middle.