Arancini are one of those universally loved food items. Traditionally, arancini are fried rice balls coated with breadcrumbs and filled with sauce, peas and a piece of mozzarella cheese stuffed in the middle. They are named arancini (little oranges) as they turn a lovely golden orange colour after being fried.
While they are basically irresistible to all who cross their path, arancini aren’t made or eaten regularly as one does start to feel a little guilty knowing they are deep fried.
After discussing this recipe with my friends, I’ve also realised that for some reason, people perceive them to be difficult to make. Now, this is simply not the case – with a little forward planning and the help of your trusty kitchen oven, you can turn last night’s left overs into tomorrow’s tasty and healthier baked Arancini with about 15 minutes prep time.
The easiest, tastiest and best rice base to use for arancini is risotto and you may remember a couple of posts back I made a flavourful mushroom risotto. You see, I had a plan for that mushroom risotto. I’m not always hell-bent on being an Italian traditionalist, so I knew that if I made a large enough portion of my favourite risotto I would be able to use the left overs for arancini. I also knew that I had a special herbed breadcrumb mix sitting in the freezer from our Feaster Sunday lunch (I used it as a crust for the lamb racks) which would be perfect for the arancini crust.
Last week we had a friend of Scotty’s staying with us, so when Scotty went to pick him up from the airport, I got busy making these arancini as I knew these babies would be welcomed after plane food!
Lunch was in the oven by the time they arrived and in no time we were all sitting on the couch with our baked arancini and salad. Yum!
BAKED MUSHROOM ARANCINI (RISOTTO BALLS)
1/2 of this Mushroom Risotto recipe (or any left over risotto)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
A dash milk
3 slices stale bread, made into crumbs
1/3 cup grated romano cheese
Olive oil spray
Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
Place the breadcrumbs, romano cheese and all the herbs into a blender and pulse several times until it looks nice and green. Pour the mixture into a dish and set aside. In a separate dish mix the eggs and milk and set aside.
Taking a 1/2 palm sized amount of the risotto, roll into a ball and set aside. Repeat with all remaining risotto. Dip each ball into the egg mixture, being sure to coat the whole ball, then place into the breadcrumb mixture and roll the ball around until a healthy crumb is coating the entire ball.
After this point you can set the balls aside in the fridge until you are ready to cook them. It is at this point that you can also pop them in the freezer should you wish to cook them at a much later date.
Place the balls on a tray lined with baking paper and spray with olive oil being sure to spray olive oil around the entire ball. Bake until outside is golden and inside is piping hot.
Remove from oven and serve with a green salad and shaved fennel.
Diane, A Broad says
The problem with making arancini is that whenever i make risotto, I just eat the whole pot and don't have leftovers! Maybe I'll just need to make a double batch next time.
Everyday Maven says
This is the 2nd recipe for baked arancini I have seen this week and both look amazing. I am thinking that this is a sign I am supposed to make them soon!
I often make arancini when there's left over risotto in my house. Except they end up looking more like cakes than petite little balls. The baked ones look just as good as the fried ones. I mean, who can say no to little things that look that good?
They look so perfectly plump and roud 😀 I've never had the chance to make risotto though I would purposely put some aside to make some arrancini. who doesn't love a good arrancini? IT sounds even better because it's baked and not fried 😛 well done babe x
I love arancini and I love how yours are baked instead of fried. I'm ashamed to say that I've never made risotto before (how can I even call myself a foodie?), but I'm determined to change that in the near future, especially if I can get some arancini out of it!
wok with ray says
To be honest, I've never had Risotto Balls before. Looking at your ingredients and the the cooking directions, I think I can do this. Thank you for making this delicious looking dish and making it so easy. Have a good weekend, Amanda! 🙂
Me too! Confession: I did actually have to make a double batch so that I could make these.
Absolutely! I would take that as I sign if I were you.
I agree. I love how Italians name everything so literally, they do actually look like little oranges when cooked.
Ooo… you've got to try Risotto and Arancini! So fun to make and so flavourful x
Thanks Connie. I was about to deep fry these ones and my health conscience got the better of me!
I had some risotto balls recently at a restaurant and LOVED them! I've never made them, but since you make it sound so easy, that's gone to change! These look and sound wonderful!
I'm so happy to hear that Ray! I hope you give it a go. 😉
That's one thing I do love about being Italian, we don't like to eat the same thing twice. It makes Italians very good at fashioning something amazing from left overs – and Arancini are one of those wonderful things!
Recipes Viva says
I adore arancini and I cherish how yours are prepared rather than broiled. I’m embarrassed to state that I’ve never made risotto (how might I even call myself a foodie?), however I’m resolved to change that sooner rather than later, particularly on the off chance that I can receive a few arancini in return!