Baked or Fried Arancini

  • 500ml canola oil, for frying
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 cups dried breadcrumbs

Ragu

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 1 celery stalk, finely diced
  • 200g minced chicken or veal
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 100ml red wine
  • 400ml chicken stock

Risotto

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 60g butter, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 1 litre chicken stock, warmed
  • Pinch saffron threads
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 80g parmigiano reggiano (parmesan cheese), grated

1. To make the ragu, heat olive oil in a saucepan and fry the onion and garlic until translucent

 
 

2. Add the carrot and celery and fry until soft

 
 

3. Add the mince and cook until it has all changed colour. Add tomato paste and wine, simmer for 20 minutes, then add the stock

 
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4. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. The ragu should be thick. Remove from heat and cool

 
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5. To make the risotto, heat olive oil and half the butter in a saucepan and cook the onion until translucent

 
 

6. Add the rice and saute for 10 minutes 

 
 

7. Add the stock, saffron and pepper. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring from time to time, for about 20 minutes, until the rice is cooked and liquid absorbed (you may need to add more stock/water if the rice dries up before it is cooked)

 
 

8. Sir in the remaining butter and the parmesan. 

 
 

9. Pour into a shallow dish and set aside to cool

 
 

10. To make the arancini, take a handful of rice and flatten it in your palm. Place a tablespoon of the ragu in the middle

 
 

11. Fold up the sides around the filling to make a ball- if any filling is visible, patch it up with extra rice and form ball shapes

 
 

12. Repeat with remaining rice. 

 
 

13. Dip each ball in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs, completely covering with each ingredient

 
 

14. Decide if you will bake or fry your arancini (see below). To bake, place arancini on a baking dish, spray with olive oil, and bake at 180C for 20 minutes

 
 

15. To fry the arancini, heat the oil in a saucepan. It is ready when you drop a small piece of bread in the oil and it bubbles. Cook the arancini individually for approximately 30 seconds, turning so they cook evenly, until golden brown. 

 
 

16. Drain on paper towel

 
 
 
 

Nutritional Information

Each fried arancini absorbed approximately 9g of oil, or 311kJ (equivalent to the kilojoules in a medium sized piece of fruit). The fried arancini also have a more vibrant colour, a crispier coating and tasted less dry.

Alternatively, if you eat two of the baked arancini, you saved the same energy as in two slices of bread through omitting the oil. Sure, the colour and texture is slightly less enjoyable, but the inside taste, the majority of the arancini is just as delicious.

So my advice: if the arancini are for a special occasion, deep fry them and enjoy the textures and colours; for every day eating, baking works a treat!