Monday, 23 March 2015

Arancini (Risotto Balls)

I know it sounds stupid, but I am a person who if I have had something amazing, will always remember where and when I had something. 
I will remember the first time I had my first mini Arancini at a friends birthday party in America when I was about 21.  I literally could not stop eating them they were delicious, creamy but crispy and so many flavours with gooey cheese in the middle. 
Another time I was in Rome, we had to run for our train so I didn't get my amazing farewell meal as I had hoped, but instead had to grab some food from what looked like a kebab shop that sold pizza - as soon as I saw them sitting there but in GIANT form - and it was the BEST thing ever, shame I was already on the train otherwise I would have gone and gotten another! 
That is where the inspiration for these came from - I have had many a different arancini, stuffed with meat, saffron ham and peas - but this one is my favourite, and what a party piece where a slightly laborious process, they come out so well and your guests will be amazed! 

Preparation time: 40 Minutes
Plus 15 Minutes to Overnight Chilling
Cooking time: 15 Minutes
Makes 20 Mini Arancini or 10 Larger Arancini

You Will Need:

70g Arborio Rice
1 Shallot Diced Finely
1 Garlic Clove Diced Finely
1 Teaspoon of Light Spread (I use Clover Lighter – you get more of a buttery taste!)
1 Stock Cube made up with around 700ml of water
4 Tbsp Tomato Passata
10 Basil Leaves
40g Light Mozzarella Cheese cut into 20 cubes
2 Tbsp Fresh Breadcrumbs
Salt & Pepper For Seasoning
Frylight/Calorie Controlled Oil Spray


Making the Risotto 15-20 Minutes
Spray a heavy bottomed sauce pan with oil, add the butter and melt on a low heat
Add the onions and garlic and saute until they are softened
Pour the rice into the pan and let it take on the butter and the flavour from the onions for around 2 minutes
Turn the heat down and a ladle of the stock, stir and let simmer until the stock has been absorbed
Add another ladle of stock, simmer and absorb - Keep doing this until the rice plumps up and is softened and you get a creamy consistency
Don't be alarmed if you have more stock or you need to add some more Arborio rice is unpredictable 
When the rice is softened, add the tomato passata, basil  salt and pepper and stir
Pour the rice into a flat dish or plate and spread out flat
If you are making these with less time pop them into the freezer for about 15 minutes to firm up
If you have time then I recommend making this part, put it in the fridge and leave overnight

To make the Arancini
Take a portion of the rice in your hand and make a little patty out of it (about a tbsp worth)
Add a cube of the mozzarella in the middle and fold the rice around it to make a ball
Do this until you have no mixture left and 20 perfectly formed balls
Pour the breadcrumbs into a bowl (I find a bowl best because you can roll them in there without touching)
Roll each arancini in the breadcrumbs until completely coated and place on a lined baking tray

Spray with Oil
Bake in the oven heated to 200 degrees for about 15 minutes or until golden brown
(turn half way during the cooking time otherwise you will get a really crispy bottom)
Serve with your favourite tomato sauce or just eat them all by themselves!

Weight Watchers Pro Points Value for 20 Arancini: Up to 2 – 1PPUp to 4 – 2PPUp to 6 – 3PPUp to 8 – 4PPUp to 10 – 5PP Weight Watchers Pro Points Value for 10 Arancini
Up to 7 - 1PP Each (i.e 7PP for 7 Arancini)8 Arancini - 9PP9 Arancini - 10PP10 Arancini - 11PP

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