Arancini are deep fried risotto balls sometimes stuffed with a ragout or cheese. Because ours were bite-sized I wasn’t able to put cheese in the centres but instead incorporated ragout and cheese in the risotto itself.
Bacon: I used both Red Barn bacon and Red Barn Chorizo for this recipe. I thought the bacon would be too sweet to work in a recipe like this but it worked really well.
Makes about 70-80 small risotto balls.
1 Chorizo sausage finely diced
6 rashers bacon diced
1 large yellow onion finely diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup canned crushed tomatoes
Red pepper flakes (optional)
2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
1L low sodium chicken stock
1/2 cup grated parmesan
2 eggs and another 3 eggs for coating
1 cup breadcrumbs and another 2 cups for coating
1/2 cup flour
salt to taste
Olive oil for cooking
Vegetable oil for frying
Fry the onion in a frying pan for about 2 mins until just starting to turn translucent. Add the sausage and the bacon and cook until the onion is caramelized and the bacon is well cooked. Add the basil, paprika, tomatoes, garlic, pepper and red pepper flakes (if you’re using them) and let simmer until concentrated and thick.
In a separate small saucepan add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer.
In a large frying pan on medium-high heat add a generous amount of olive oil and add the Arborio rice, stir to coat the rice. Add the white wine and stir until all the wine has been absorbed. While continuing to stir add the broth one big ladle at a time. Stir until that ladle of liquid has been absorbed before adding another ladle. Repeat. Once all the broth is finished check the doneness of the rice. It should be al dente. If not, add some water one ladle at a time and continue cooking until it is. Once the rice is al dente add the meat ragout to the rice. Remove the rice from the heat and stir in the parmesan. Check for seasoning at this point and add some salt to the rice if you like. Let the rice cool considerably so that it’s warm to the touch (not hot) then stir in the two eggs and the 1 cup of breadcrumbs. Let the rice then cool completely.
Once cooled form into balls. We did small bite sized balls but you can make bigger ones. Then in three shallow dishes fill one with flour (season with a little salt), one with whisked eggs, and the other with breadcrumbs.
Heat about half an inch of vegetable oil in a saucepan to 350ºF and add a few balls at a time. Fry until golden brown and flip to fry the other side. Remove onto a paper towel lined plate and serve warm or room temp with marinara sauce or aioli. May we dare suggest bacon marinara or bacon aioli??