I love risotto and make it at least once a week. In fact, I would go as far as to say that it’s one of my specialities. I serve it with the rice perfectly al dente, in the northern Italian all’ondastyle, which means with plenty of liquid.
I hate leftover risotto. It’s almost impossible to reheat without it turning into a stodgy mess and if you try adding more stock it just overcooks the rice. However, if you do have leftover risotto, all is not lost as you can turn it into these amazing arancini di riso. Arancini means ‘little oranges’ and like the real oranges, they originated as street food in in Sicily. They consist of balls of cooked rice, which are then coated in breadcrumbs and deep fried. The deep-fried breadcrumbs turn almost orange, hence the name.
To make from scratch, arancini take a little while, but to make them from leftover risotto is super easy and super fast. When they are finished, they look a little bit like scotch eggs and they can be made from any flavour risotto that you like. If you are feeling adventurous, you could even wrap the risotto round something else, such as mozzarella balls, or even left over ragù, or meat sauce. I made these from a risotto ai funghi porcini,one of my favourites.
I will be writing about risotto very soon and it will probably feature in a video on Chestnuts and Truffles TV. But in the meantime, I will assume that you know what to do and leave you with instructions as to what to do with the leftovers.
Arancini di riso
1 egg, beaten
oil for frying
- Pick up a small amount of leftover risotto and make it into a ball in with the palms of your hands. You should find that the starch from the rice holds it together without a problem.
- Roll the balls in the flour to coat them.
- Dip the balls in the beaten egg and make sure they are completely covered.
- Now roll the balls in the breadcrumbs making sure that the whole surface is covered lightly.
- Place the balls on a baking tray, or a plate, and place them in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. This will help them hold their shape.
- Using a deep-fat fryer, heat the oil to 170°C (340°F). If you don’t have a deep-fat fryer, you can try them a saucepan or wok, but be careful not to overheat the oil.
- Fry the arancini for three minutes until golden brown.
- Place them on a piece of kitchen towel to absorb the excess oil and then serve hot, or cold.