Italian Fried Risotto

Crispy Delight: Mastering the Art of Arancini – Italian Fried Risotto

Prepare to embark on a culinary journey to the heart of Italy with our enticing recipe for Arancini, the beloved Italian Fried Risotto. These golden orbs of crispy delight encapsulate the rich flavors of creamy risotto and gooey mozzarella, creating a symphony of textures that will transport your taste buds to the sun-kissed landscapes of Sicily. Join us as we unravel the secrets behind crafting the perfect Arancini, a dish that epitomizes the artistry of Italian cuisine.

Ingredients for Arancini

For the Risotto:

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 ½ cups Arborio rice
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon finely ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley leaves
  • 3 cups chicken stock (store-bought or homemade)
  • 2 teaspoons double-concentrated tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese

For the Stuffing:

  • 4 ounces mozzarella cheese

For the Coating:

  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon finely ground black pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups plain panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 cups grapeseed or vegetable oil, for frying


Crafting the Perfect Arancini:

Step 1: Prepare the Risotto

  1. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped onion and crushed garlic, sautéing until softened.
  2. Stir in Arborio rice, ensuring it’s well-coated with the oil. Cook for 1-2 minutes until the rice becomes translucent.
  3. Season with salt and black pepper, and add chopped parsley. Continue stirring to infuse the flavors.
  4. Pour in chicken stock gradually, one ladle at a time, allowing the rice to absorb the liquid before adding more. Continue until the rice is creamy and al dente.
  5. Dissolve tomato paste in a small amount of hot water and add it to the risotto. Stir in butter and grated parmesan cheese, creating a luscious and creamy texture.
  6. Spread the risotto on a baking sheet to cool.

Step 2: Create the Arancini

  1. Cut the mozzarella cheese into small cubes.
  2. Take a handful of the cooled risotto and flatten it in your hand. Place a cube of mozzarella in the center and encase it with the rice, forming a ball.
  3. Repeat this process until all the risotto is used.

Step 3: Coat and Fry

  1. In three separate bowls, prepare the coating stations: one with flour, salt, and pepper; another with beaten eggs; and the last one with panko breadcrumbs.
  2. Roll each risotto ball in flour, dip it in beaten eggs, and coat it with breadcrumbs, ensuring an even layer.
  3. In a deep skillet, heat grapeseed or vegetable oil to 350°F (180°C).
  4. Fry the Arancini in batches until they achieve a golden-brown hue. Ensure even frying by turning them occasionally.
  5. Remove the Arancini from the oil and place them on paper towels to absorb excess oil.

Cook Notes and Variations

  • Risotto Varieties: Experiment with different risotto flavors, such as saffron-infused or mushroom risotto, for a unique twist.
  • Cheese Medley: Mix various cheeses like fontina, provolone, or Gouda for an eclectic stuffing experience.
  • Herbaceous Infusion: Enhance the risotto with fresh herbs like thyme or rosemary for an aromatic touch.

Keto and Low-Carb Versions

Keto Arancini

  • Cauliflower Transformation: Replace Arborio rice with finely riced cauliflower for a low-carb alternative.
  • Almond Flour Coating: Substitute all-purpose flour and breadcrumbs with almond flour for a keto-friendly coating.
  • Avocado Oil Elegance: Opt for avocado oil for frying, adding a dose of healthy fats to your keto Arancini.

Low-Carb Arancini

  • Broccoli Base: Incorporate finely chopped blanched broccoli into the risotto for added nutrients and a low-carb twist.
  • Parmesan Power: Increase the amount of grated parmesan in the risotto for a richer flavor without the added carbs.
  • Zucchini Zest: Mix grated zucchini into the risotto for a subtle vegetable infusion, keeping it low-carb.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: Can I prepare the risotto in advance?

Absolutely! The risotto can be made a day ahead and refrigerated until you’re ready to assemble the Arancini.

Q2: Can I use different types of cheese for the stuffing?

Certainly! Experiment with your favorite cheeses or create a combination for a diverse flavor profile.

Q3: How can I make these gluten-free?

For a gluten-free version, use gluten-free flour and breadcrumbs or opt for almond flour as a coating.

Q4: Can I bake the Arancini instead of frying?

While baking is an option, frying imparts the traditional crispy texture. To bake, preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C) and bake until golden.

Q5: What dipping sauce pairs well with Arancini?

A marinara sauce or a garlic aioli complements the flavors of Arancini beautifully.

A Taste of Italy in Every Bite

As you savor the golden, crispy exterior and the creamy risotto within, each bite of Arancini is a journey to the heart of Italy. The delicate balance of flavors, the oozy mozzarella surprise, and the satisfying crunch make this dish a favorite for all occasions. Whether you embrace the classic recipe or venture into keto and low-carb adaptations, Arancini is a testament to the culinary prowess of Italian cuisine. So, gather your ingredients, embrace the artistry of shaping each ball, and indulge in the delightful world of Arancini – where tradition meets innovation, and every bite is a taste of Italy. Buon Appetito

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