Risotto Rice Balls (Arancini)
Risotto Rice Balls, also known as Arancini di Riso, are a Sicilian fried snack made with only 4 ingredients. Leftover risotto is rolled into balls, breaded and fried and they come with a cheesy center. Usually round or cone shaped, they are delicious served with an easy tomato dipping sauce.
Pronounced ‘ah-run-chee-nee’, these crispy balls can be an appetizer or a meal served with vegetables. I usually just eat them on their own before a pasta meal, with a side of my Easy Marinara Sauce.
Anything fried (at least in my family) is always a favorite. I mean, what is not to love about a fried rice ball stuffed with cheese? A great seasonal appetizer serve with drinks, pre-Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner to keep the family from raiding the kitchen
Risotto for Arancini
Arancini are best made with leftover rice, in this case, risotto. I get on a risotto kick when the weather cools down because it’s a warming and comforting dish. Good risotto starts with a good and simple risotto recipe. Once you have this, you can add just about any flavorings you like. One of my favorites is Brown Butter Mushroom Sage Risotto.
For these particular Risotto Rice Balls, I used leftover Pumpkin Risotto. Again, any leftover risotto can be used. What I love most about these arancini are all of the flavors live inside the risotto, so the breading just gets a little salt.
Because the risotto balls are sticky and have egg in them, you don’t need to mess around with dipping them in flour then egg. The breadcrumbs stick to them well without this.
Let’s talk about that cheesy center. I love to use mozzarella because you need to have that wonderful stringy cheese pull when you pull them them apart.
Bake or Fry Risotto Rice Balls (Arancini)
I prefer to deep fry. This way they achieve an even, golden color all around, will be really nice and crisp and take only minutes. You can bake them, they will need to coated in a light covering of oil and baked at 425°F/220 °C for about 25 minutes, or until golden brown.
I use vegetable oil for frying, but any light flavored or non flavored oil will work. I would not use olive oil because it will smoke too much. Canola, peanut, sunflower and rapeseed/grapeseed and avocado oil are all good choices.
If you’ve tried these Risotto Rice Balls (Arancini) or any other recipe, leave a comment below. I love to hear from my readers.