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Sicilian Arnacini/Arancine

Wed, 11 May 2022

Sicilian Arnacini/Arancine

Takes 2-3 hours (includes cooling time)

Makes 12 balls

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • Pinch fresh saffron
  • 500g risotto/Japanese rice (short grain and starchy)
  • 1l vegetable stock
  • 50g butter
  • 50g parmesan/pecorino
  • 1 egg
  • 200g mozzarella, fresh or cubed/grated
  • 200ml water
  • 1 egg
  • 120g flour
  • 200-300g dried crispy breadcrumbs (panko can work)
  • 500ml-1l oil for frying, sunflower, vegetable, olive

Alternate fillings:

Arancini alla Norma

  • 2-3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 aubergine, small cubes
  • 200ml tomato passata
  • 2 tablespoons tomato puree
  • 30g ricotta salata/pecorino, grated
  • Small bunch basil, finely chopped

Arancini al Ragu

300g meat(pork is most popular) ragu with handful of peas

Arancini prosciutto e mozzarella

150g chopped ham with 150g ricotta and mozzarella above

Method:

  1. First make your rice, ideally the day before but give at least 2 hours cooling time.
  2. Fry your onion gently in the olive oil over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add your garlic and fry for another minute or two. In the meantime steep your saffron in a tablespoon or two of boiling water.
  4. Add in the saffron with the water.
  5. Stir in your rice, be sure to season with salt and pepper.
  6. Let the rice get coated in everything, it will go a little translucent.
  7. Now add in your hot stock, bring it to a boil and reduce to a simmer until the rice is cooked and all the stock is absorbed, about 10-12 minutes.
  8. When cooked and all the stock is absorbed. Add in your butter and pecorino or parmesan.
  9. Allow to cool for ten minutes and mix in your egg, ideally it does not go scrambled; you want it to coat the rice.
  10. Spread the mixture on a tin and allow to cool for at least 1-2 hours. If you want to make it all cool quicker use a cold tin and put the mixture in the freezer for 30-40 minutes, be careful though as this may alter the overall temperature of your freezer.
  11. Once the mixture is cold and solidified it is ready to use.

To prepare your alla Norma filling:

  1. In a large frying pan, add in the olive oil and cubed aubergine. Fry for at least 5 minutes until each piece is tender. You do not want the aubergine to be pale white and spongey.
  2. Now add in your tomato passata and puree.
  3. Cook the mixture over a low heat for 10 minutes, season with salt and pepper.
  4. Remove from the heat and fold through the cheese and basil. Allow the mixture to cool before using.

To prepare the Arancini:

  1. Lightly wet your hands with water and take a large spoonful of the rice mixture into one hand.
  2. Flatten the mixture and spoon in some aubergine filling and some mozzarella cheese.
  3. Place another small spoonful of the filling on top and fold it over on itself.
  4. Using your other hand, also wet with water, roll into large balls. You could make the traditional cone shapes too if you wish.
  5. Make the paste mixture of flour water and egg and have it in one bowl.
  6. Roll the arancini into this and then into the breadcrumbs.
  7. Making sure they are fully coated.
  8. Place your oil in a deep pot over a medium to high heat.
  9. Check the oil is ready with some breadcrumbs or a little rice mixture; they should bubble up and come to the top.
  10. Drain the balls with some kitchen paper, sprinkle with salt and serve warm!

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