Arancini is a Sicilian dish dating back years to when it was under Arab rule when it was eaten in the 13th of December. It literally translates to a little “little orange” due to its shape and colour when cooked. There’s many varieties with different fillings.

About a month ago me and Laura went out with my brother and his partner and my mom and dad for a meal and they had arancini. I like it but fried squid was on the menu so i had to have that but thought I’d have to make some again…. It’s been a while so here we go.

2tbsp oil
1 small onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, crushed
8oz arborio rice
750ml chicken stock, made from cubes
2oz ham, chopped
2oz fresh peas (can use frozen)
1 1/2oz Parmesan, grated fine
7 1cm cubes of mozzarella
1 egg beaten
4oz bread crumbs
2oz plain flour
Salt and pepper

For tomato and basil sauce
2tbsp oil
1 tin chopped tomatoes
Handful fresh basil, chopped
1 small onion
1 garlic clove crushed
Salt and pepper

You want the risotto to cool down so get that on straight away. Add the oil, onions and garlic in a frying pan over a medium heat and fry until the onions are soft but not browned, add the rice and stir well to coat all the rice with the oil. Add a ladle of the chicken stock to the pan, stirring constantly until the liquid has gone and then add another ladle of stock and so on until you have no stock left, season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat, add the Parmesan, ham and peas the stir extremely well to combine and leave to cool slightly for 2 minutes and then stir in the beaten egg. Set aside to cool completely. Meanwhile add the oil, onion and garlic to a frying pan over a medium heat for 5 minutes, add the tinned tomatoes and cook for a further 7-8 minutes to reduce a little and set aside. Divide the risotto into 7 equal balls, shove a piece of mozzarella into the middle then seal it in with the rice and repeat with the other 6. Turn the deep fat fryer on at 180c. In 3 separate little plates have one with flour, one with bread crumbs and the last with the 2 beaten eggs. Take a arancini ball, dust with flour then into the egg and lastly coat well with bread crumbs and then into the fryer, repeat with the other 6. Fry for 10-12 minutes until golden brown. While they’re cooking heat up the tomato sauce, add the basil and season. Serve the arancini on top of the tomato sauce with a nice salad. I used beetroot leaves from the garden mixed with spinach from the shops.

Don’t have to use mozzarella you can fill with what you like, I just had the cheese in.

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