Spinach Risotto Balls (Arancini)

Spinach Risotto Balls (Arancini)


17 people made this

About this recipe: This dish may take a little effort to make, but the results are really worth it. Spinach risotto is chilled, then rolled into balls with a cube of mozzarella in the centre, breaded and deep fried. Serve as a snack, appetiser, starter or for a main.

NM Dawn

Serves: 10 

  • 1 litre chicken stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled
  • 340g Arborio (risotto) rice
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 250ml white wine
  • 60g chopped fresh spinach
  • 30g butter
  • 120g grated Parmesan cheese
  • 225g mozzarella cheese, cut into 1.25cm cubes
  • 250g plain flour
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 240g seasoned breadcrumbs
  • vegetable oil for deep frying

Prep:45min  ›  Cook:40min  ›  Extra time:4hr chilling  ›  Ready in:5hr25min 

  1. Bring 1 litre chicken stock and saffron threads to the boil in a saucepan over high heat. Stir in Arborio rice, return to the boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until the rice is tender, yet still a little firm, about 16 minutes.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in onion and cook for one minute, then stir in garlic and continue cooking until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in wine, spinach and butter and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and fold in cooked rice and Parmesan cheese; cook a few minutes until the mixture is a little stiff. Spread onto a baking tray and cool in the refrigerator until completely cold, 4 hours to overnight.
  3. Once the rice mixture has cooled, form the risotto balls by enclosing a cube of mozzarella cheese in about 3 tablespoons of the rice to form a 2.5cm ball; set aside. When you have finished making the balls, place flour, eggs and breadcrumbs into separate, shallow bowls. One-by-one, gently roll the risotto balls in the flour to coat, then shake off excess. Dip into beaten egg, then roll in breadcrumbs; set aside.
  4. Heat the oil in a deep fat fryer or electric frying pan to 180 degrees C.
  5. Deep fry the risotto balls 5 or 6 at a time in the hot oil until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Be sure to roll the risotto balls around with a metal spoon as they cook so they are evenly browned on all sides. Drain on kitchen towels and serve hot.

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