1 cup risotto rice (arborio, vialone nano or camaroli)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
3 1/2 oz mozzarella or fontina cheese, cut into cubes
3/4 cup dried breadcrumbs
oil for deep frying
Makes 20 balls. Leave the saffron to soak in the wine while you prepare the risotto.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the onion and garlic and cook over low heat
for 3-4 minutes until softened but not browned. Heat the stock to simmering point in
another saucepan. Add the thyme and rice to the onion and cook, stirring, for 1 minute
to seal the rice. Add the wine and saffron and stir until the wine is all absorbed. Add
several ladles of the hot stock stirring continuously so that the rice cooks evenly. Keep
adding enough stock to just cover the rice, stirring frequently. Continue in this way for
about 20 minutes, or until the rice is creamy.
For arancini it is not so essential to keep the rice al dente. Add more water or chicken
stock if the rice is not fully cooked. Make sure all this liquid is absorbed. Remove from
the heat and stir in the parmesan, then spread out onto a tray covered with plastic wrap.
Leave to cool and, if possible, leave in the fridge overnight. To make the arancini, roll a
small amount of risotto into a walnut-sized ball. Press a hole in the middle with your
thumb, place a small piece of cheese inside and press the risotto around it to enclose in
a ball. Repeat with the rest of the risotto. Roll each ball in the breadcrumbs, pressing
down to coat well.
Heat enough oil in a deep fat fryer or deep frying pan to fully cover the arancini. Heat
the oil to 350F, or until a piece of bread fries golden brown in 15 seconds when dropped
in the oil. Deep fry the arancini in batches, without crowding, for 3-4 minutes. Drain on
paper towels and leave for a couple of minutes before eating. Serve hot or at room
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