Arancini balls

Whether you’re feeding a pack of Roman gladiators (aka grandchildren) or just looking for something delicious for guests to snack on before you bring out the main course, you can’t do much better than this delicious, traditional Italian dish. Try out this easy recipe for arancini balls today.

Makes: 28 arancini balls

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 brown onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 1/2 cup Risotto Rice
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups dried (packaged) breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 100g mozzarella, cut into 1.5cm pieces
  • Vegetable oil, to deep-fry

Method: 

  1. Pour stock in medium saucepan over high heat and bring just to the boil.
  2. Cover and reduce to a low heat, then hold at a gentle simmer.
  3. As you’re doing this heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat.
  4. Add onion and garlic and cook covered, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft. 
  5. Add rice to onion mixture and cook, stirring until grains appear slightly glassy.
  6. Add 1/2 cup of the simmering stock to your rice mixture. Make sure you are stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the liquid is completely absorbed.
  7. Continue to add stock about 1/2 a cup at a time. Make sure you’re stirring constantly and allow the liquid to be adsorbed before adding the next ladleful. Do this until the rice is tender, yet still firm to the bit and the risotto is creamy. Stir in parmesan cheese.
  8. Set aside to cool completely, for around two to three hours.
  9. Add two eggs and stir until well combined.
  10. Place breadcrumbs on large plate and flour in a bowl.
  11. Crack remaining eggs in a separate bowl and lightly whisk with a fork.
  12. Shape risotto mixture into balls using wet hands. As you’re doing this you want to press your thumbs into the centre of the ball to make an indent, place a piece of mozzarella in the indent, then mould the risotto mixture around to enclose. This should make 28 balls.
  13. Roll risotto balls in flour and shake off excess. Dip in the egg, then in the breadcrumbs, pressing to coat. Place on a large plate in the fridge for around 30 minutes.
  14. Add about 5cm of oil in a large saucepan and heat to 190°C over medium-high heat.*
  15. Cook risotto balls in oil (about seven at a time), turning occasionally, until they are golden.
  16. Repeat with remaining risotto balls, but be sure to reheat the oil between batches.

*If the oil is ready, it will only takes 10 seconds for a small cube of bread to turn golden.

This article was written in partnership with Over60.