to make the risotto:
3-4 cups low sodium chicken broth
3 tblsp extra virgin olive oil
1 shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 C arborio rice
1/2 C dry white wine
1. Place chicken stock in saucepan over low heat. Lightly grease 8x8” baking pan and set aside.
2 Warm olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots and garlic and stir for about 5 minutes. Add rice and cook another 5 minutes then deglaze the pan with the wine.
3 Lower heat to medium and add a ladle of warm broth and stir until its absorbed. Continue stirring and adding stock—a ladleful at a time—until rice becomes soft but retains a little bite, for about 20 minutes.
4 Remove from heat, gently stir in butter and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan, season with salt and pepper. Spread on the baking pan and refrigerate 4-6 hours or overnight.
to make the arancini:
2 tblsp unsalted butter
3/4 C Parmesan cheese, grated
salt and pepper
4 oz part-skim mozzarella, diced into 1/4” pieces
1 C all-purpose flour
2 eggs, beaten
1 C Panko bread crumbs
handful of basil leaves for garnish
1. Once the risotto is chilled, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and heat 2-3” of oil in a sauce pan fitted with a candy thermometer to 350°F.
2. Shape a small amount of risotto into a ball. Press a chunk of mozzarella into the center—recovering it with risotto—and place on the parchment paper.
3. Place flour and eggs in separate dishes—in another, combine bread crumbs and the remaining 1/2 cup of Parmesan. Lightly coat each ball in the flour, shake off excess, dip in the eggs and then dredge into the bread crumb mixture.
4. Fry in batches for 5-6 minutes or until golden. Drain on paper towels and season with salt and pepper. While they cool, fry the basil leaves in the hot oil for 10-20 seconds. Quickly remove and drain them on paper towels. Serve arancini warm, garnished with fried basil.
—if you’re short on time you can skip making a homemade risotto and use box mix. Just make sure to chill the cooked risotto before forming it onto balls.
—I love serving it with fried basil, or even your favorite tomato sauce.
—I first had these in Italy—we would walk down the streets in Rome and EAT EAT EAT—so as soon as I was home I knew I had to make them. Trust me, guests will go crazy for them!