– 2 cups (500 ml) arborio rice
– 1 cup (250 ml) finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
– 3 oz. (90 g) scamorza or smoked mozzarella cheese, cubed
– 1 egg, beaten
– 1 cup (250 ml) dry bread crumbs
– 2 cups (500 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
– ½ tbsp. saffron (optional)
For Meat and Pea Filling:
– 2 tbsp. (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
– 1/2 pound (250 g) lean ground lamb or beef
– 1/2 cup (125 ml) peas, cooked
– 1 cup (250 ml) tomato puree
– 1 tsp. chopped garlic
– Freshly chopped coriander, QB
– Salt, QB
Heat up the olive oil and sauté the lamb, when it’s cooked, add the garlic, peas, tomato puree, and coriander, and let it all cook for a few more minutes together. Add a little salt. Remove from the heat and let cool.
In a pot of boiling salted water, cook the Arborio as you would any rice. When the rice is cool enough to handle, scoop out a handful and roll it into a ball.
Now for the stuffing: Press a hole in the middle of the rice ball with your thumb and using a spoon, place the meat and pea mixture inside. Reshape the rice ball until the filling is fully enclosed.
Dip each rice ball into the beaten egg, and then roll it in the bread crumbs to coat it evenly.
Pan-fry the arancini in about a 1/2 inch (1 cm) of hot olive oil until golden brown on all sides. Remember, the rice is already cooked, so you’re only frying them to achieve a golden color and crispiness. Remove and drain on paper towels. Serve hot or at room temperature. Serves 6.
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