Arancini, meaning “little oranges” because of their shape and colour, are fried, stuffed rice balls originating in Sicily.
They are a famous street food and, due to their popularity, widely available now in the UK from street vendors, Italian cafés and restaurants. Arancini are a clever way to turn leftover risotto into another culinary delight. These fried risotto balls make wonderful finger food – and not just for parties! They are a delicious and versatile little snack for on-the-go or for a lazy evening at home. Best enjoyed straight out of the oven while the Taleggio in the centre is still hot and gooey.
Parmesan and Mushroom Arancini with Taleggio Filling
- 200g risotto rice, e.g. arborio
- 25g butter
- 1 small onion
- 125g chestnut mushrooms
- 600ml vegetable, chicken or beef stock or broth (1 stock cube)
- 100ml white wine, e.g. Pinot Grigio
- 75g grated Parmigiano-Reggiano parmesan
- Large handful of curly parsley, finely chopped
- 1 clove of garlic
- Salt, pepper to taste
- 50 Taleggio, cut into 15 cubes
- 2 small eggs
- 5 tbsps. plain flour
- 80g bread crumbs
- Oil for frying
- Chop the onion and garlic.
- Slowly heat the saucepan and melt the butter.
- Sweat the onion and garlic for about 2 minutes. Finely chop the mushrooms and add to the pan.
- Add the uncooked rice to the saucepan and cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Stir several times to avoid any burning of the ingredients and rice sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Add a dash of salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the white wine to the pan. Cook for another 2 minutes.
- Add stock to the rice bit by bit (pour from the measuring jug).
- If you are using stock cubes, boil water and dissolve 1 stock cube in 600 ml hot water.
- Keep adding more stock once the liquid has been absorbed by the rice.
- Stir regularly to avoid any burning of the rice.
- Finely chop the fresh parsley and add to the pan.
- Finely grate the Parmigiano-Reggiano and stir into the risotto and turn off the heat.
- Let the risotto cool off.
- In the meantime, prepare three bowls, one with a whisked egg (you can use a fork for that), one with the flour and one with the breadcrumbs.
- Cut the Taleggio into 15 equally sized cubes.
- Once the risotto is cold, take a small spoonful of it in the palm of your hand, put a piece of Taleggio in the middle and enclose the cheese with some more risotto.
- The size of the risotto ball is roughly that of an egg.
- Lightly dust the risotto ball in flour, then dip it into the egg, covering every surface, then use a fork to transfer it into the bowl with the breadcrumbs for coating.
- Place the risotto ball, on the baking tray.
- Repeat the process until the risotto is finished.
- Take a clean frying pan and add as much oil to it as to cover the entire surface, with roughly half a centimeter in depth.
- Pre-heat the oven to 170°C (fan) or Gas mark 4.
- Once the oil is hot, carefully place the arancini in the pan and deep-fry until golden brown. Remove the risotto balls with a slotted spoon and place them on a baking tray.
- Use kitchen towels to remove excess fat.
- Bake the arancini in the oven, middle rack, for about 15 minutes.
- Serve immediately.
(Credit to: Castelli/Parmigiano for these beautiful recipes)
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