Arancini are a Sicilian specialty, and the name literally means “little orange”. All over Sicily there are different varieties but the most typical are cone shaped. This recipe is an adaptation which I hope does not offend any Sicilians out there! The times that I have made them the only complaints were too little sauce inside, or “you made too few”! Let’s hope for the second!
To make approx 10 arancini
250g risotto rice
3 bay leaves
A handful of fresh herbs
A splash of white wine
100ml double cream
Vegetable Stock or water
1 large egg beaten
1 whole garlic clove
Grated parmeggiano cheese
Salt and pepper
Fresh chopped tomatoes/tinned chopped tomatoes/Passatta
Peas ( fresh or frozen)
1 whole garlic clove
Minced meat (beef/lamb)
The rest as above
Mozzarella Di bufala (or another cheese of your choice which melts. If using normal mozzarella, mix with another stronger cheese with some flavour)
Breadcrumbs mixed with some grated Parmesan cheese
To make the risotto pour the rice into a pan. Add the bay leaves and garlic clove and add just enough stock/water so that it’s covered. On a medium flame begin stirring until the liquid evaporates and the rice begins to become creamy. Add the wine and the fresh herbs and continue stirring. Add salt and pepper to taste. It should take about 15 minutes to cook. The rice should be slightly crunchy and creamy.
When the rice is cooked spread it on a flat baking tray to cool and set aside.
For the sauce add the tomatoes, garlic and a large splash of olive oil to the pan. Cook on a medium heat for about 20 minutes. Add the peas and cook for a further 10 minutes or until soft. If the sauce still has a lot of liquid turn up the heat and stir vigorously for a few minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
(To make a meat sauce fry the mince in olive oil with the garlic clove until it’s browned. Add the tomatoes and continue as above)
Once the rice has cooled, transfer to a bowl. Add the egg, Parmesan cheese and cream and mix it all together. It should be dense and not liquidy.
To make the arancini, wet your hands in a bowl of water (this will stop the rice sticking to your hands and help to shape the arancini). Take a handful of rice and flatten it in one hand. Take a large teaspoon of sauce, a few pieces of cheese and place in the centre of the flattened rice(don’t overfill or it will explode!). Take another small handful of rice and place it on top of the sauce. Then close and shape into a ball, or to be truly Sicilian, a cone shape. Coat in breadcrumbs and place on a baking sheet. Once all the arancini are ready fry until golden brown in olive oil.
Serve hot and enjoy!