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Friday, May 24, 2024

Creamy Italian rice balls stuffed with cheese and flavored with basil

Soft and creamy on the inside, golden brown and crunchy on the outside, this specialty is the best when filled with cheese.

Although pasta dishes dominate Italian cuisine, risotto, a creamy rice dish heavenly in any form is not to be overlooked either. If you have a bit more time – or maybe you have leftover risotto from the day before in your fridge – make arancini. Italian rice balls are creamy on the inside, crispy on the outside and often come with a delicious filling.

In the recipe below, cheese and basil are added to the center of the balls. Cheese will add a delicious taste as it melts inside, and the latter will add freshness.

The risotto itself is made according to a basic recipe, with butter, parmesan and white wine, as the filling adds flavor; nothing else is needed for a perfect combination. Nevertheless, if you have mushroom or beetroot risotto in your fridge, you can of course make arancini with these, or even omitting the filling.

Ingredients for 20 pieces

For the risotto

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small red onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 300 g arborio rice
  • 100 ml dry white wine
  • 1 liter stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 50 g Parmesan

For the stuffing

  • 150 g mozzarella
  • Several leaves of basil

For the coating

  • 100 g flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 200 g breadcrumbs
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Heat up the stock. When it starts boiling, turn off the heat, but keep the stock warm.

Meanwhile, peel and finely chop the onions and grate the garlic.

Heat the butter and oil in a deep pan and add the onions. Sauté until soft, then add the garlic. After 1 minute, add the rice and fry until it starts to color a little. Then add the wine and wait for it to evaporate completely.

Pour over a ladleful of the hot stock. Stirring constantly, wait until it absorbs the juice, then add another ladleful. Repeat until the stock is gone and the rice is tender. Remove from the heat, stir in the Parmesan and season with salt and pepper.

Leave to cool completely and then refrigerate for a few hours to make it easier to shape.

Grate the mozzarella, chop the basil and mix the two together.

With wet hands, form about 18-20 balls of risotto, flatten them out and place the cheese and basil mixture in the center of each one. Form them into balls again.

Prepare the coating: put flour in one bowl, eggs in another and breadcrumbs in a third. Salt and pepper the eggs lightly.

Roll the balls first in the flour, then in the egg and finally in the breadcrumbs. Place the rolled arancini on a tray lined with baking paper.

Heat up plenty of oil until it reaches 170 degrees. Place in as many arancini as will fit comfortably and fry until golden brown on the outside, for about 5 minutes. Remove them to a paper towel-lined plate before serving.

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