These cheesy risotto balls are a tasty adaptation of the classic Italian arancini. They have a molten mozzarella centre, spicy tomato rice and a crispy outer layer. They work great as both a snack or a starter.
The name arancini literally means “little orange”, because they’re round and… sort of orange? Honestly, I think the person that came up with the name, might have been in need of a pair of glasses. Arancini don’t always look like a ball either. Because in Sicily, arancini come in a cone shape as well.
Sicily also happens to be the place where arancini are originally from. Sicilians have been making them as far back as the 10th century. Sicilian arancini are usually filled with ragù sauce, mozzarella cheese and peas. These arancini al ragù aren’t the only option though. Mushrooms, cheese, crab, curry or chocolate: pretty much anything goes when it comes to fillings these days.
With this recipe for arancini, I’ve kept things simple. With a centre of mozzarella and a layer of tomato rice, these risotto balls are great as a snack or starter.
Making arancini is a great way of using up leftover risotto rice. However I have to admit, that that is something we never have in out household. We tend to just eat all our risotto… But there’s no need to worry if you don’t have any left-overs either. You can also just cook some rice especially for this recipe. Just make sure you cook it in advance, so it has a chance to cool before you use it.
To cook the risotto, I used the same method as a used for our Easy Oven Risotto.
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