Arancini (Sicilian Stuffed Rice Balls)
Added by Allora Andiamo | Wed 28 Jan 2009 @ 12:03
Makes approx• 10 arancini
For the rice mixture:
500g risotto rice
approx• 800ml of hot chicken/beef stock
1 tbsp butter
3/4 cup finely grated parmesan
200g minced beef
3/4 cup peas,frozen or fresh
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup passata (pureed tomatoes)
10 small cubes of cheese (edam, mozzarella,or any good \'melting\' cheese)
Salt and pepper to taste.
For the coating:
2 beaten eggs, seasoned with salt and pepper
about 300g dried breadcrumbs
Oil for deep frying
A good book
1 bottle of wine
Some almond biscotti
[b]Arancini (Little Oranges) are another Sicilian specialty. Just about every Italian housewife has her own special recipe and this is mine. The arancini can be stuffed with meat sauce and cheese, just cheese, cheese and ham and even with chocolate (using a sweet version of the risotto). The possibilities are endless !
Oh and start preparing them at least 2 hours before you need them , to allow cooking time for the sauce and cooling down time for the rice mixture.[/b]
[i]First things first-the rice mixture[/i]
You\'re basically going to be making a simple risotto. Just melt the butter in a large pan and add the rice. Fry it gently for a few minutes. Next add a ladleful of stock, stirring it into the rice, until most of the stock has been absorbed. Add the next ladeful and repeat the process till the rice is cooked and creamy (about 15-20mins). Let the mixture cool down to room temerature then add the beaten egg and parmesan cheese, mixing well with your hands. Put it in the fridge and let it get really cold (at least 1 hour).
Now sit down for a few minutes, read your book, drink a glass of wine and nibble some almond biscotti.:)
[i]Next, make the sauce[/i]
Start by frying the minced meat in the olive oil. When its lightly browned add the garlic and fry for another couple of minutes. Next, add the tomato paste and fry gently for a further minute or so. Then add the passata, peas and some salt and pepper to taste. Let it simmer gently for about 30mins , stirring often. You should end up with a dryer version of bolognese sauce. Leave to cool.
Sit down again, have another glass of wine and more biscotti...if you can still read then do so !;)
Now comes the fun part. Get all of your ingredients together on your work surface (close to the sink is best !).Wet your hands with cold water then start by picking up a handful of the rice mixture. Put it in your left hand. Now cup your hand and push the rice in and around your hand to make a mould for the filling. Take a good tablespoon of the meat sauce and place it in the mould. Add a cube of cheese. Wet your \'working\' hand again and pick up some more of the rice mixture (a bit less this time). Lay it in your right hand and using the back of your left hand press the rice down a bit to make a little lid. Place on top of the filling, gently squeezing and rolling the arancini till you get a nice round shape (about the size of a tennis ball). When you\'ve finished rolling the arancini put them back in the fridge for about 30mins to firm up.
Whilst your waiting, lie down on the sofa, have another glass of wine and some biscotti, then have a little snooze:)
Take the arancini out of the fridge and coat them with the beaten egg and then the breadcrumbs. Heat the oil over a medium heat. A one inch bread cube should take about 60 seconds to brown at the right temperature. Fry the arancini till golden and crispy (about 5-6 mins) then drain on some kitchen paper. You can eat them as a snack or if you prefer to make a meal out of them, serve them with a nice rocket salad.