Baked arancini balls

I love making risotto, but I always make way more than we need. And everyone knows risotto isn’t quite the same the next day. I’ve been wanting to try arancini for a while and then I found this recipe which uses leftover risotto in the recipe and didn’t have to be deep-fried. Problem deliciously solved!

So my leftover risotto was from this recipe, and had been left in the fridge overnight before I tried to make arancini with it. Pull your cold and slightly unappealing risotto out of the fridge and mix it with the egg and cheese. Make a tester arancini ball to see how well you’re risotto holds together (you can just see my tester ball sitting on top of the mixture). If it holds its shape well for a minute or two your good to go. If your arancini doesn’t hold its shape mix in some plain breadcrumbs until it reaches a good consistency.

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Once it’s all mixed together chuck it back in the fridge for at least half an hour. I left it in their for close to an hour while I did some dishes, defrosted some mince for the sauce, and made some toasted breadcrumbs (and played some games on my phone). The recipe called for panko breadcrumbs. I don’t really know what they are, and even if I did I haven’t seen them in Tonga. So I googled how to make my own, and they’re basically just coarse toasted breadcrumbs. We didn’t have any white bread to make into breadcrumbs so I crushed up some breakfast crackers in the food processor. (I don’t actually know why we had breakfast crackers in the house. I think it might be magic. They’re everywhere else in Tonga so why wouldn’t they turn up in our pantry). After they were all crushed up I spread them out on a baking tray and toasted them in the oven on about 160° for five minutes, shaking the pan occasionally to make sure they didn’t stick.

With my fancy breadcrumbs all done I chucked them in a bowl and mixed them with the olive oil using my hands. Make sure the oil is evenly mixed through the bread crumbs.

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By this point the risotto was good to take out of the fridge. I scooped heaped dessert spoonfuls of risotto mixture out of the bowl and shaped them into egg shapes with my hands. Then you just carefully roll them in the breadcrumbs and oil making sure that they’re thoroughly coated. They don’t have to be egg-shaped but they will probably sink slightly as they bake so if they’re egg-shaped when they go in they should be mostly round when they come out.

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Now just pop them in the oven for 20-30 minutes. If you’re going to serve them with sauce it’s a good idea to use this time to make a sauce for them. I made the sauce I use for spaghetti bolognase, but next time I’m going to try a creamy sauce. When the arancini are golden pull them out of the oven and let them sit for 5-10 minutes to help them ‘set’. Then just spoon your sauce over the top.

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Ingredients

  • 3 cups of leftover risotto
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup of grated cheese (I used cheddar, but whatever you’ve good should do)
  • 1/3 cup of plain breadcrumbs if you need to thicken your risotto
  • 1½ cups coarse toasted breadcrumbs
  • 3 tbsp of olive oil

Method

  1. Pull your cold and slightly unappealing risotto out of the fridge and mix it with the egg and cheese.
  2. Make a tester arancini ball to see how well your risotto holds together. If it holds its shape well for a minute or two you’re good to go. If your arancini doesn’t hold its shape mix in some plain breadcrumbs until it reaches a good consistency.
  3. Once it’s all mixed together chuck it back in the fridge for at least half an hour. I left it in their for close to an hour while I did some dishes, defrosted some mince for the sauce, and made some toasted breadcrumbs (and played some games on my phone).
  4. BRIEF INTERLUDE WHILE I MADE TOASTED BREAD CRUMBS. If you’ve got some don’t worry about making some fresh. (See above if you want to know how I made mine).
  5. Chuck the breadcrumbs in a bowl and mix them with the olive oil using my hands. Make sure the oil is evenly mixed through the bread crumbs.
  6. By this point the risotto was good to take out of the fridge. Form heaped dessert spoonfuls of risotto mixture into egg shapes with your hands. Then carefully roll them in the breadcrumbs and oil making sure that they’re thoroughly coated. (They don’t have to be egg-shaped but they will probably sink slightly as they bake so if they’re egg shaped when they go in they should be mostly round when they come out.)
  7. Now just pop them in the oven for 20-30 minutes. If you’re going to serve them with sauce it’s a good idea to use this time to make a sauce for them. I made the sauce I use for spaghetti bolognase, but next time I’m going to try a creamy sauce.
  8. When the arancini are golden pull them out of the oven and let them sit for 5-10 minutes to help them ‘set’. Then just spoon your sauce over the top.

 

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