If this is the first page of Plates and Places you’ve landed on, firstly hello! and secondly, go here first. This is the follow-up recipe to a previous post: Blue Cheese, Mushroom and Bacon Risotto, which is very delicious on its own but also the base of my arancini recipe. To make arancini you will need risotto first, ideally fridge-stored for a day or two, and while you can use any risotto recipe, I really do recommend this one for extra decadence. If it helps swing your decision, I’ve made sure it makes enough for 3-4 people to eat right away and eight arancini balls at a later date. Everyone’s a winner!
For those who already have their risotto to hand, you’re in the right place.
Whether you enjoy your finished arancini as canapes or a starter for a dinner party, topped with shaved parmesan and served with creamy garlic or zingy tomato dipping sauce or as a meal, nestled on a bed of buttery mashed butternut squash with greens, it really is worth all the effort.
A decent-sized Tupperware of leftover risotto, refrigerated for at least one day
6 tbsp plain flour
10 tbsp breadcrumbs (I make my own by grilling old bread with garlic oil, salt and pepper, and then blitzing in the NutriBullet)
1 ball of mozzarella or a slab of Taleggio, cut into chunks
The best utensil for this – and making these oreo-stuffed chocolate truffles, should you need a dual-use to warrant the purchase – is an ice-cream scoop. Take one scoop of cold risotto and firm it up in a neat ball in your hands.
Press your thumb into the middle of the ball and push in a chunk of your chosen cheese, then close the ball back up around it, using a pinch of more risotto to completely cover it if you need.
Make sure it’s really tight and neat now the cheese is inside and set aside while you make the rest of your arancini balls.
Lay out the flour and breadcrumbs on (separate) large plates, and mix the eggs in a bowl. It’s really important to have your stations set up before you start rolling. This is a good time to pre-heat the oven too – 150°C with a rack set up and waiting in the middle of the oven, not top.
One by one, follow this process for all your arancini balls: roll in flour, dip in egg, roll in breadcrumbs. Then line them up on a foil-covered baking tray.
When they’re all done, drizzle a little olive oil on each one and bake for 15-20 minutes. If the cheese leaks out, don’t worry, it’s still super tasty.