Awesome arancini (Risotto balls)

Awesome arancini (Risotto balls)


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About this recipe: A delicious arancini recipe. Risotto balls are stuffed with fontina cheese, before being breaded and fried to perfection. The melted cheese inside the arancini, complement the thyme in the risotto exceedingly well.


Makes: 9 

  • 1 pinch saffron threads, crushed
  • 250ml white wine
  • 30g butter
  • 1.5 litres chicken stock or as needed
  • 675g Arborio risotto rice
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 80g Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 450g fontina cheese, cubed
  • 215g dry breadcrumbs
  • 1 litre olive oil for frying

Prep:25min  ›  Cook:50min  ›  Extra time:1hr chilling  ›  Ready in:2hr15min 

  1. Place the wine and saffron in a small bowl. Stir briefly, then let it sit. Melt the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion; cook and stir until transparent, about 3 minutes. Mix in the rice and continue cooking and stirring until the rice has absorbed most of the butter.
  2. Slowly stir the white wine and saffron into the rice, stirring continuously until the wine is absorbed and rice is creamy. Season with thyme, then pour in 250ml of chicken stock at a time, cooking and stirring constantly until all of the stock is absorbed before adding the next. Stop adding stock when the rice is tender. If you run out of stock, you may use water. Remove from the heat, stir in the Parmesan cheese and allow to cool until you can touch it without burning your hands.
  3. Lightly grease a large baking tray with olive oil. Pour the risotto out onto the tray and spread evenly. Place in the refrigerator for about 1 hour or until chilled.
  4. When the rice is cool, roll small portions into balls about the size of golf balls. Tuck a cube of fontina cheese into the centre of each one. Roll each ball in breadcrumbs to coat.
  5. Heat the olive oil in a heavy saucepan or deep fat fryer to 190 degrees C. The oil should be about 7.5cm deep. When the oil is hot, fry the arancini until they reach a golden orangish brown, about 3 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes, then serve with any marinara sauce.


If fontina cheese is unavailable, substitute in either Emmental or Gruyere.

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