I love arancini. For those not in the know aranicini are delicious little balls of rice, coated in breadcrumbs and deep (or shallow) fried. They are the best way of using up left over risotto, so good in my opinion that they warrant making a little extra risotto. It is also perfectly acceptable to make risotto entirely for this purpose!
These little beauties I’m writing about here are made from a delicious beetroot risotto recipe by Annie Nichols who writes a fortnightly column for Stella Magazine, Cheat’s Dinner Party. I have the good fortune of working with on her exciting new book and the risotto is plucked from there, you should also be able to find it on the Telegraph site – if not, you’ll have to wait for the book to come out!
You can make Arancini from any old risotto though – I’ve added some goats cheese, walnut and thyme to the centre of these, but use whatever you think would go best with your risotto. I think the traditional things to add are mozarella or ragu.
Makes 8-10 Arancini
750g left over risotto
100g goats cheese
a few sprigs of thyme
a few walnuts, crushed
1 egg beaten
4 slices of bread, crusts removed and bread blitzed to make breadcrumbs
Oil for deep frying
Preheat the oven to 200c. Mix together the goats cheese, thyme leaves and walnuts. Season with pepper.
Beat the egg in a bowl and spread the breadcrumbs out onto a plate. Get a dollop of risotto in your hand and flatten it out. Place a small teaspoon of the goats cheese in the middle and then bring the risotto round it to cover it up and form a ball. Dip in the beaten egg and roll around so it’s covered. Remove with a fork onto the plate of breadcrumbs and roll around again so it’s now covered in the breadcrumbs too. Place on a plate and repeat with the rest. This gets quite messy and an extra pair of hands can be useful!
Heat the oil (to test the temperature, drop a cube of bread in, it should brown in about 10 seconds). Deep fry the arancini in batches, a few at a time, for two minutes and then transfer to a baking tray. Once they’ve all been deep fried, place in the oven for 8-10minutes. Serve with a ncie green salad.