• Arancine

Arancine Difficulties 1 2 3 4 Preparation Time 3 hours

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Makes about 15

For the stuffing:

  • 10 ounces chopped meat, half beef and half pork
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 onion, finely chopped Olive oil for sautéing
  • 2 cups thin tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon estratto or sun-dried tomato paste

For the rice:

  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 300 grams risotto rice
  • 600 grams water Pinch of saffron threads
  • 2 heaping tablespoons grated parmesan
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the batter:

  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups bread crumbs
  • 2 quarts vegetable oil, for frying

For the stuffing: Sauté the meat, carrot, celery and onion in the olive oil until browned. Add the tomato sauce and the estratto. Cook over low heat for about 30 minutes, or until the sauce is thick. Cool and refrigerate. If you make the filling one day ahead it will thicken and will be easier to use. You can also make it one hour in advance and let it cool down before using it.

For the rice: Sauté the onion in the olive oil until translucent. Add the rice and stir to coat with oil. Add the water and as soon as it comes to a boil, add the saffron, stir, put the lid on and remove from heat. (It is most important that the risotto be golden with saffron.) Let sit for 15 to 20 minutes and the rice will be done. Add the parmesan, salt and pepper, stir and spread out onto a plate and cool.

For the batter: This is the most important step because this will prevent the arancine from falling apart when you deep-fry them. Whisk together the flour, water, and eggs in a large rectangular dish with high sides, until the batter is smooth and creamy. Fill another dish with the bread crumbs. Put a bowl of cold water next to you, to wet your hands now and then; this will help the rice stick together. To assemble the rice balls, wet your hands in the cold water and fill the palm of 1 hand with a tablespoonful of rice. Cup your hand and make a hole in the middle, pushing the rice to the same thickness all around. Fill the hole with 1 tablespoon of stuffing and close your hand, enclosing the meat sauce with the rice. (Add more if you need to round out the ball.) Keep the hand with which you are spreading the rice wet. The ball has to be no bigger than a small orange, from which it takes its name. As you make them, roll the arancine in the batter to coat, compacting them with your hands. Then roll them in the bread crumbs and coat; again pat them thoroughly with your hands. Place on a tray that is sprinkled with bread crumbs. Pour the vegetable oil into a very large frying pan and turn on the heat. Drop in a little ball of batter coated with breadcrumbs to test the temperature. When the oil is hot enough, the ball will sizzle. Slip in the arancine. They have to stand comfortably with the oil reaching about three-quarters of the way up the ball. With a slotted spoon, sprinkle oil on top of the arancine turning one now and then to see if it is brown enough, not too brown, just blond. Return and brown on the other side. They are usually ready all at once, so be quick in removing them and laying them on paper towels. Eat warm. Each person will have at least two. If you like, serve tomato sauce on the side.

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