Every now and again when I am in the North End of Boston I will treat myself to an arancini. If you are not familiar with arancini, it is an Italian stuffed rice ball coated in bread crumbs and fried. It is always served with a little bit of red sauce. The most common types of arancini are spinach and cheese, and hamburger and peas. My favorite kind is spinach and cheese, so of course that is the kind I make.
I am not going to lie, these are very time consuming and take hours from start to finish. They are completely worth it and these taste like you ordered them in a restaurant. I use my own homemade sauce with them, and you can find my sauce recipe by following this link:
Yes, my sauce tastes as good as it looks!
Ingredients for Arancini:
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1 cup white wine
Pinch of salt
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups chopped fresh spinach
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tbsp. butter
2 eggs beaten
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 cup flour
Canola or vegetable oil
One thing that makes these arancini so delicious is you cook the rice like risotto, so you need to keep adding, and stirring, etc. The creaminess of the rice is well worth the extra effort.
Cook white wine, salt, and rice over medium heat for 5-10 minutes while stirring often.
Once you get the rice started, heat the chicken broth in a pan on low/medium heat and keep it heated until you need to use it.
After the 5-10 minutes, add 2 cups of the heated chicken broth and stir into the rice. Cook for 10 minutes.
Then add the remaining 2 cups of broth, stir into the rice and cook for another 10 minutes while stirring often. Turn off the heat.
Add the 2 cups of chopped spinach, grated cheese, butter, and pepper to taste. Stir well.
Spread the rice mixture on to a parchment lined cookie sheet and refrigerate until the rice is cool. This while take some time.
Once the rice is cool, cut it into squares. Put either a cube of mozzarella, or a little shredded mozzarella in the center of each square and use your hands to form the rice into a ball around the cheese.
Use three separate bowls for the flour, beaten eggs, and bread crumbs.
Roll the rice ball into the flour, then in the eggs, then in the bread crumbs.
Drop the balls into a pan of oil that is heated to 350 degrees. Use a slotted spoon to keep moving them around in the oil and remove to a paper towel lined plate once they are brown.
Serve warm with red sauce. Mangia!