This arancini recipe is the ultimate way to use up leftovers, using up both leftover risotto and leftover stale bread. Sometimes when I know we will be having a lazy weekend, I like to cook a big risotto for dinner on Friday and then serve a bowl of these lovely arancini on Saturday. You can use any flavour of leftover risotto, just perhaps not ones containing big pieces of vegetables or seafood.
The risotto I used for these photos was a simple Risotto Bianco, which I served with pesto for dinner yesterday – perfection! The below recipe makes 6 to 7 arancini, perfect for two people, but you could easily double it to serve more. You don’t need to double the egg or the oil, just the risotto and breadcrumbs.
I have seen some recipes that call for the risotto balls to be coated in semolina or polenta, to be honest I found that whilst maybe they looked neater, I just wasn’t a fan of the gritty texture. I much prefer something that tastes delicious but looks scruffy. Feels more authentic that way as well! So for me it was breadcrumbs all the way, slice up a stale loaf and blitz it into breadcrumbs in food processor. Any extra breadcrumbs can be frozen to be used another day. If your bread is quite soft still, scatter the breadcrumbs on a tray in a warm oven to dry out for 5 mins.
You can if you are feeling really decadent roll a piece of mozzarella into the middle of each rice ball. This way when it fries it goes all deliciously stringy and cheesy inside. So much deliciousness in one little bite!
Love this? Looking for more? Try my spicy sweet potato wedges!
- 180g Chilled Leftover Risotto
- 25g Dried Breadcrumbs
- 1 Egg, whisked
- ½ Litre of Sunflower/Vegetable Oil
- Tip the dried breadcrumbs onto a plate. Divide the risotto into roughly 6 golf ball sized portions and roll quickly using the palm of your hands.
- Coat each risotto ball with the whisked egg.
- Place into the bread crumbs and roll gently until well coated.
- Place a medium sized saucepan on the hob, add the oil and heat. Once the oil is hot enough, (when it bubbles and fries a small piece of bread in 30 seconds) it is ready.
- Place a piece of kitchen roll on the side, and using a slotted spoon gently tip three risotto balls into the oil (Do not fry them all at once or the oil temperature will drop and they will go soggy).
- They should turn golden as they fry, but if they go dark very quickly then you need to reduce the heat.
- Turn until evenly golden and crispy all over and piping hot in the centre (this should take about 1 - 2 minutes.)
- Using the slotted spoon remove them from the pan and tip onto the kitchen roll to drain any excess oil.
- Repeat with the remaining risotto balls.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!