Nonna Maria's AranchiniLaura Sharrad
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves, finely diced
- 400g tinned tomatoes
- 1/2 bunch basil leaves
- 5 cups arborio rice
- 1 chicken stock cubes
- 1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup grated parmigiano cheese
- 1 egg
- 20 bocconcini
- 2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
- Sea salt flakes
- Oil, for frying
- Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan and sauté the onion and garlic over a medium heat until they’re a light golden colour, about 3 minutes.
- Purée the chopped tomatoes before adding them to the pan. Season the mixture with salt and pepper and add the sugar. Add the basil and cook over a medium heat for about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- While the sauce is cooking, rinse the rice under cold running water a few times. Pour 750ml litres of water into a saucepan, add the rinsed rice and stock cubes, and bring to a boil. Then turn down the heat and continue to cook the rice until tender. This should take about 20 minutes.
- Once the rice is cooked, put it in a bowl and allow it to cool down a bit. Once cooled, combine with the eggs, grated cheeses and cooled sauce. If the mixture is too wet to handle, add some breadcrumbs to improve the texture.
- First up, roll about half a cup of mixture into a ball, stuff the middle with a bocconcini ball or piece of mozzarella, and shape the arancini ball into a pyramid shape.
- Continue to do this for the rest of the mixture. You should end up with about 20 arancini balls.Gently roll each arancino in the breadcrumbs and place on a tray. Refrigerate for 3 hours, or overnight.
- Pour canola oil into a saucepan until one-third full. Set over a high heat until the oil is approximately 180°C. To test whether the oil is ready, place a piece of breadcrumb into the oil – if it turns golden straight away, it’s ready. Add the arancini 2 or 3 at a time, depending on the size of the saucepan. They should take 3–4 minutes to cook. Turn throughout the cooking time to ensure they are evenly browned. Drain on a paper towel. Continue with the remaining arancini.
- Sprinkle with sea salt and serve hot.
Our friends at Wine Selectors suggest pairing this dish with a Pinot Grigio.
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