It’s no secret that Papa M and I are foodies – we love going out to restaurants and we’re not afraid to drop a few dollars on quality ingredients. About a year ago, at one of our favorite local cafes (was close to work then, is close to home now) we discovered the sweet balls of deliciousness that are aranchinis.
Aranchinis are little balls of risotto, coated in breadcrumbs and then fried. They can be made with all sorts of different flavors and the last time we had them – at Goode Bros. in Botany – they were served with a delicious basil pesto. With a girls’ night dinner coming up at the end of the month, I was excited to try and make these myself. So I tweeted my friendly Italian/Cooking expert, Liv from Col Panna, and she flicked me through a recipe and a few ideas on how to give this a whirl.
However, impatient girl that I am, when I had a huge amount of excess from a lazy Rice-Risotto-from-a-box (Thai Green Curry flavor), I thought that I would give it a whirl. If the processed stuff worked well, then it could only be onwards and upwards from here! And the result:
Not too shabby – Papa M gave them a 6/10 and I consider that not too bad for a first effort.
Things that worked:
- Day-old risotto – it was nice and sticky
- Used the right amount of egg and breadcrumbs – it was just the right amount of crust
- Spraying the aranchinis with oil and baking them in the oven – recipes suggested frying (good tip Liv!)
Things that didn’t work:
- Large pieces of meat and vegetables in the risotto – next time I’ll make the risotto (from scratch) solely for the aranchinis (rather than being creative with leftovers), it was really hard to shape the aranchinis with big lumps of other ingredients
- No parmesan used in the risotto – I think that this will help the rice to bind a little better
- Larger aranchinis – larger risotto balls seemed to lose structural integrity when removed from the oven. If I’m serving these as an entree, I need them to hold their shape a little better.
Recipe to come when I have time to perfect this – definitely on the right track with this one though!
Edit: Text changed to read aranchini, not aranchina. I’ve read it written both ways but my friendly Italian advisor has given me the anglicised authentic term!