Arancini in Spicy Tomato Sauce

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November 5, 2015

Arancini - crisp on the outside and filled seductively with melting taleggio on the inside. The spicy tomato sauce highlights the richness of the balls.


Serving - 12 arancini, 2 per person


¾ cup rice

2 cups water

¼ cup diced mushrooms

1 teaspoon fresh thyme

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

¼ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

¼ cup diced sweet onion

1 cup Breadcrumbs

3 eggs

¼ lbs taleggio cheese, cut to small cubes


4 cups canned chopped tomatoes

½ cup diced sweet onion

2 fresh bay leaves

½ tablespoon fresh thyme

4 whole black peppercorns

2 whole juniper berries

½ tablespoon slightly hot paprika

1 medium size finely grated carrot


1To make the tomato sauce heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in medium saucepan over low heat. Add the diced sweet onion and the carrots and cook until translucent for 2-3 min, and then add the grated tomatoes with the herbs – bay leaves, fresh thyme, peppercorn, juniper berries and the hot paprika. Mix well, lower the heat to simmer and cook for 1 hour, while occasionally stirring the mixture, so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.

2In a medium size saucepan heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Sauté the onion for 2-3 min. Add the rice, pinch of salt, freshly ground black pepper, fresh thyme and diced mushrooms. Cook until rice gets translucent. Lower the heat and gradually add the water, ¼ cup at time and stir with a wooden spoon. When the water is absorbed, add the other ¼ cup water. Continue adding gradually the water – ¼ cup or less at a time. Stir the rice all the time until a creamy and dense. Once rice is cooked add the Parmesan cheese, mix well and let it cool.

3Place the breadcrumbs in a plate. Whisk the eggs and place them in a medium size bowl. Using about 2 tablespoons of the risotto, shape 1 3/4-inch-diameter balls. Insert 1 cube of taleggio cheese into the center of each ball. Roll the balls in the breadcrumbs to coat. Then dip them in the egg mixture and roll them again in the bread crumbs.

4Have a bowl with water to clean your fingers when they get sticky.

5Working in batches, add the rice balls to the hot olive oil and cook until at sides.

6In a flat elongated serving plate add some of the tomato sauce. Place the arancini on top and garnish with fresh basil. Serve them hot.


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