Thursday, February 18, 2010


Arancini tonight.

If you're unfamiliar with them, don't worry. I'm here to help.

Once long ago, I too was one of those poor, unfortunate arancini-less schlubs. Wandering though life without the deep fried carbohydrate bomb that would someday complete me.

Oh yes.

Then, while waiting for a connecting train somewhere in the hill towns of Italy, I came face to face with the golden blob of deliciousness.

I had no idea what it was, but it didn't matter. It was so perfectly golden and so obviously deep fried that had to be good. (I'm of the opinion that deep fried always equals good. You could deep fry a cockroach, or even a Hot Pocket, and it has the potential to be delicious.) I quickly purchased two and brought them back to Mr. Humble, who I had abandoned earlier with my bags to explore the station.

Hold on, I need to nom on these while taking photos...

Okay, so the train station arancini were not all that good. They were cold and gluey. They were... well, train station food.

Still, I adore risotto and I knew that deep frying it was going to take my love of the starchy rice to the next level.

This recipe calls for leftovers, preferably risotto that has been allowed to sit in the fridge overnight. Feel free to use any risotto recipe you like. You can also toy with the fillings, as this is a very flexible appetizer. I enjoy a fresh basil pesto risotto, filled with buffalo mozzarella. Or saffron risotto filled with shrimp. Just use your imagination.

Technically, since this is deep fried, you might even be able to involve Hot Pockets.


Not So Humble Arancini
yields roughly 1 dozen
2 cups cold, leftover risotto
1 large egg, beaten
1 cup bread crumbs
vegetable oil for frying

Heat your oven to 300°F

Cut the mozzarella into a dozen 1cm cubes.

Grab a golf ball sized hunk of the cold risotto and press the cube into the center and mush the risotto around it. Roll it into a ball and set aside. Repeat until you've formed all the risotto balls.

Then take the balls and coat them in the egg and then the bread crumbs, shaking off any excess.

Heat several inches of oil over medium heat (350°F) and fry the risotto balls in batches, drain briefly on paper towels and then transfer to the oven to hold.

Serve warm.


  1. They look delish...can't wait to try them!

  2. perfecto, and simple too, had a giggle at your last post that suv guy has generated some bad karma for himself, imagine all your readers making brittle and thinking of his car being beaten up!

  3. I've had these before, made by my Italian friends mother. They were delicious! I didn't know what they were called though. Now I know. And now I know how to make 'em. Yay!

    Thank you Ms Humble

    xoK @ JBK

    P.S. How are you not the size of an elephant!?

  4. I never have enough risotto leftover to make something like this.

  5. I first had these when I was in Venice. I was passing a side street cafe and someone outside was singing 'Country Roads' by John Denver. That's what made me stop LOL. Then I spied a woman who broke apart those little golden orbes and and oozing deliciousness came out. That was it.

    They are sooo good.

    BTW, I made Saganaki last night...can you say, new favorite cheese snack? OMG, I had to stop myself from scarfing them all down.

  6. May I make a request? Have you ever made loukoumades? Before I moved away from NH to PA, I used to attend a Greek Festival and that was where I tried them. They were AMAZING! I'm wondering if you've ever made them or if you'd like to try? They are basically little donut-holes that taste almost like french toast, then they are drizzled in honey or maple syrup and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. Just curious...

  7. Omg, I remember arancini from Southern Italy a few years back. They were wonderful and amazing and everything that is right with Italian food all mixed into one delicious ball of hot goodness. For some reason I had never thought of recreating them before, but I will definitely give this baby a shot!

    Love reading your blog, thanks for all the great recipes.

    -Amie from

  8. Try them the authentic Sicilian way, sez this husband of an authentic Sicilian who took him to Sicily just for the arancini: with shredded chicken and a single green pea right in the middle (known colloquially as the jewel).

  9. I now have the nearly uncontrollable urge to deep-fry a hot pocket.

  10. Here's a deep-fry goodie you have to try: Gulab jamon, an Indian dessert. Madhur Jaffrey's cookbook has the recipe. Basically, you mix half flour and half powdered whole milk with a little oil and a little milk, then drop little balls f it into hot oil to fry as if they were doughnut holes. But then! You scoop them out of the hot oil, blot briefly, and lickety split into a pot of cardamom-tinged (or -laden) medium syrup on the adjacent burner, there to soak for a few minutes. They come out light and ooooooh so good. Serve cold with a little of the syrup, or warm with it. The first time I had them I thought they had a light cheese in them, like marscapone, such was the texture. You can make them by the billions in an afternoon and then keep them in a pot of cold syrup in the fridge until you eat them all. We have them as a traditional Christmas-party dessert.

  11. I'm living, cooking and writing in the land or arancini, Siracusa Sicily. Your arancini are inspired. Thanks.


  12. hey sweet! i love ur blog & all, & i usually read it just adoring ur recipes & ur pics but ..this time i gotta stop & have a say!
    im italian, and ... what u call arancini are actually called SUPPLI'! thats the name for them.
    ARANCINI are something else .. they'r BIG BIG supplì, with meat and peas and no tomato inside.
    they'r both SO good, anyhow.

    luv!! xxx

  13. I made these for dinner tonight with edam instead of mozzarella and ooooh yeah. They were good.

  14. I finally got round to making these last night for dinner as I had some leftover risotto and oh my gosh they are good! Perfectly crispy on the outside, whilst warm and gooey in the middle! I also added some grated parmesan into the breacrumbs for some extra cheesy-crunchiness! Yum! Definitely a family favourite now and will always make extra risotto for dinner the next day. Thanks Ms Humble!


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