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Spinach Arancini (Rice Balls)

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Spinach Arancini (Rice Balls)



Ingredients :

  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • ½ teaspoon saffron threads
  • crumbled
  • 1 ½ cups Arborio rice
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • minced
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • minced
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 cups chopped fresh spinach
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 ½ cups grated Parmesan cheese
  • 8 ounces mozzarella cheese
  • cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • lightly beaten
  • 2 cups seasoned bread crumbs
  • vegetable oil for deep frying
  • Methods :

  • Bring 4 cups chicken broth and saffron threads to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Stir in Arborio rice, return to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the rice is tender, yet still a little firm, about 16 minutes.
  • Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in onion, and cook for one minute, then stir in garlic, and continue cooking until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in wine, spinach, and butter, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and fold in cooked rice and Parmesan cheese; cook a few minutes until the mixture is a little stiff. Spread onto a baking sheet, and cool in the refrigerator until completely cold, 4 hours to overnight.
  • Once the rice mixture has cooled, form the arancini by enclosing a cube of mozzarella cheese in about 3 tablespoons of the rice to form a 1 inch ball; set aside. When you have finished making the balls, place flour, eggs, and bread crumbs into separate, shallow bowls. One-by-one, gently roll the arancini in the flour to coat, then shake off excess. Dip into beaten egg, then roll in bread crumbs; set aside.
  • Heat the oil in a deep-fryer or electric skillet to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  • Deep fry the arancini 5 or 6 at a time in the hot oil until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Be sure to roll the arancini around with a metal spoon as they cook so they are evenly browned on all sides. Drain on paper towels, and serve hot.
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