And I’m keeping with the Italian theme, this time with saffron arancini with mozzarella. These beautiful rice balls are a favourite of my boyfriend and every so often he asks for it. I know that it’s quite easy to find them ready madealmost everywhere here but I still think that what we make at home tastes so much better!
Basically, for those not familiar with the word “arancini”, these are small stuffed rice balls which are coated in bread crumbs and then deep fried. Usually they are stuffed with ragu (meat & tomato sauce), mozzarella and peas.
They say Arancini was created in Sicily in the 10th century during the Arab rule. In Palermo and Trapani, arancini are the traditional food for the Feast of Sta Lucia (13th December) when you can’t eat bread and pasta. Today, arancini are found all year around as a snack and a good way to use left-over risotto.
On my first attempt to make arancini,things didn’t turn out that well. I didn’t research before starting and I though that it was just rice with some stuffing. And because the recipe was all wrong, when I tried to stuff it the rice wouldn’t stay together and when I tried to fry them, the balls just kept opening. So this time, I’ve done my home work: some research and I found out that it’s best to make it with risotto. This way the rice is sticky and will stay together. Then I read that saffron risotto is the best option. And because I had some mozarella at home almost reaching the “use by date” I decided to keep it simple and just use it for the stuffing instead of ragu. Guess what? It turned out perfect: the rice was nice and sticky so it was easy to make the stuffed balls and it stayed together when I fried it 🙂 Result: a nice dinner of arancini and green salad and a very happy boyfriend 🙂