Baked Rosemary and Garlic Arancini

 One of the most enjoyable things about food blogging is its innate ability to furnish one with a wider knowledge of food, via the community. Though no one blog has influenced, or inspired me, in a particularly direct sense, certain ideas, as well as types of food, do tend to rub-off onto my gastronomic sleeve fairly frequently. Of course, that doesn’t mean that none of you are inspirational, you most certainly are, only that my blog has a very distinct drive and direction. This dish marks just one of the many culinary blotches which reside upon my metaphorical garments and I am so glad that it decided to transfer itself so vividly. Indeed, though they take a little time, care and preparation, arancini, which are essentially crispy balls of risotto, are exceptionally delicious, almost to the point of fatal delirium.

As has just been mentioned, arancini are balls of rice covered by breadcrumbs. It seems that such an effect is usually achieved by deep-fat frying. However, preparing food in such a way is not, in my opinion, particularly appealing; especially since baking does a better job. If followed correctly, this recipe will produce the crunchiest balls ever to have graced the mouths of WordPress’ most fervent food bloggers. The risotto, as if by magic, manages to remain remarkably gooey, yet stable; whilst the outer surface of egg and breadcrumbs forms an impressive protective shell. In truth, no recipe was remotely consulted when approaching these spherical delights; the addition of rosemary was as much inspired by Captain Corelli’s Mandolin as it was by personal preference. Of course, one may deep fat fry these if they so wish. However, such action is inadvisable since the world could do without another hardened artery.

Baked Rosemary and Garlic Arancini

Makes 10-12 balls

Ingredients:

• 150g arborio rice

• 400-500ml vegetable stock

• 100ml dry white wine

• 1 small onion, finely chopped

• 2 cloves of garlic, mashed

• 2 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped

• A handful of parmesan, roughly 50g

• A small knob of butter

• Plenty of breadcrumbs, enough to cover the balls

• A little flour, plain is good

• 1 egg, beaten

• Seasoning

• Olive oil

Method:

1. Begin by frying the onions in a little olive oil. After 5 minutes add the garlic and ¾ of the rosemary, cook for a further 5 minutes. Add the rice and cook for an extra minute or so. Pour in the wine and cook until it has been absorbed. Then begin to add the stock little by little until it has all been absorbed and the rice has a little bite to it. Take the risotto off the heat and stir in the butter and parmesan. Pop the lid on the pan and set aside for 2-3 minutes. Now, transfer it to a bowl, allow it to cool and leave it in the fridge overnight, or for at least 2 hours.

2. By now the risotto should be easy to shape into balls. Do this, it should make 10-12 balls, and pop them back in the fridge of 10 minutes. Heat the oven to 200C and mix the breadcrumbs with the remaining rosemary and a little seasoning. Roll each ball consecutively in the flour, then the egg and finally the breadcrumbs – ensure an even coating. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until golden and crispy. Eat immediately with a lovely fresh salad.

Cost: The transformation of the risotto into arancini should cost on next to nothing; this makes the prospect particularly enticing. So, overall this meal, not including salad, should set one back £1.80 or so – not bad considering it is enough for 3-4 people. Indeed, they are surprisingly filling.

148 thoughts on “Baked Rosemary and Garlic Arancini

  1. Chica Andaluza

    What a fantastic idea to make baekd arancini. When I was a child and we used to spend summers in Calabria, it was a treat for us to stop off from the beach on the way home and buy a bag of these to eat!

  2. danyandy

    Yum! A local eatery makes these, they serve them with sauces. I love the ones they serve with a sweet tomato and basil sauce. Delicious! I will have to give these a try. Thanks for sharing!

  3. divaofdelicious

    There is a little Italian family owned place in my neighborhood which introduced me to these with a meat and vegetable mixture inside, but they deep fry them. I’m so so so glad there is a way to enjoy them with out all the fat but with all the crunch. I WILL be trying this one! Thank you!

  4. Danielle

    I had never heard of arancini, these sound delicious! I also love your idea of baking instead of frying, as that’s the method i prefer for most things. The pictures are wonderful too, my mouth was watering after seeing the first one!

  5. baconbiscuit212

    I adore arancini because I love risotto and I love fried, crunchy things. It seems, though, that excellent crunch can also be achieved through baking! What a great idea! And really a lot less messy than frying. I will have to try this soon!

  6. SarahJ

    This sounds and looks fantastic! I can’t wait to try it. I feel the same way about baking instead of frying. Why add all that extra fat when the oven does just as good of a job?

  7. thelittleloaf

    Great idea to bake instead of fry these. I ate arancini in Sicily last summer on several occasions and the quality varies wildly – they can often be too heavy and fatty so this sounds perfect!

  8. musingmar

    Arancini are wonderful to begin with, and now you’ve made them better by omitting the deep frying! A great idea for leftover risotto too, but it’s tempting just to get straight to it and make these right off the bat, as you suggest.

  9. Shira

    Unreal! These look amazing and I could not agree with you more on the baking vs. frying. Deep frying especially is something I have only attempted once or twice (for Indian). Bravo!

      1. Shira

        Sometimes Indian just HAS to be deep fried and I am the same as you! It’s the only time I do it! I wonder if there are good alternatives? I’ll look forward to seeing that!! ;)

  10. Addison

    Wow, looks delicious! The fact that they’re baked makes it more appealing to me. I used to make panko breaded patties out of leftover risotto, but I’m trying this out next time instead.

  11. egg me on

    These look great. Many commenters have said this, but I love that they’re baked, too. That risotto is pretty awesome as is, I bet.

  12. Aimee@clevermuffin

    Must say Nick, loving the healthier approach to not deep frying! I often see these recipes and think ‘well yes, most things would take good deep friend though’, and it’s much more of a testiment to a recipe if it can be baked and still be fabulous. Now, off to find you on Pinterest…

  13. k.m.

    I really like arancini but I hate the hassle of frying them, especially since they end up falling apart no matter how careful I am. If baking yields better results with less hassle, then I’m all for it! The rosemary in them sounds lovely too.

  14. Bob Vivant

    I’ve tried making these more times than I care to remember, and they’re always disappointing. But…I’ve never tried baking them. These look lovely! Timing is everything. Spring risotto is on the menu for dinner tonight. I’m going to make a little extra and give your method a try. Thank you!

  15. Catherine

    And of course the other nice thing about arancini is that they are a great way to recycle leftover risotto – so much so that I make it my policy always to make extra risotto if I am making it, the better to have arancini a couple of days later.

    Also, arancini from beetroot risotto has to be seen to be believed.

  16. foodblogandthedog

    Rosemary and garlic is my favourite combo and I heart arancini, so delighted that they can be baked with apparent success, I’m with Greg I hardly evr have risotto leftovers but will make a mental note to make too much next time and try not to eat it!! I’m making your flapjacks now too…

  17. veghotpot

    Really lovely recipe and I love that you baked them! I have made risotto balls before and also couldn’t bring myself to deep fry them but I did still fry them! Next time I will definitely bake them! Rosemary and Garlic sounds like a wonderful combination :)

  18. cakeboule

    Never heard of that one before. So it’s sort of like a risotto but deep fried in breadcrumbs? I am liking the sound of that! We have just mastered risotto – my son is very good at it (plus it means I don’t have to stand there and add the stock continuously! = win win situation :)

  19. Cara

    Is it this post that is supposed to cheer me up? You think talking about balls is supposed to make me happy??? Wait a minute…it’s kind of working. Sort of.

  20. marissasharon

    I used to LIVE off of these when I was in Southern Italy. Especially in Napoli… these things are too special for words! Often filled with meats & cheeses… Especially in tune with your frugal theme… they’re a great way to stretch risotto into TWO meals if you just make a huge batch one night and use the rest for arancini on another… (which is what I almost always do). Lovely!

  21. Kimby

    Exceptionally delicious, to the point of fatal delirium? Any recipe that garners that kind of description is automatically accelerated to the top of my “must make” list. (My arteries thank you for your oven-baked version, too!)

  22. spabettie

    hello! I am here from your wonderful guesting for Cara, just poking around and I love what I see!

    arancini are one of my favorite treats I always order at one of my favorite restaurants. I have visited the notion of making some myself, and wanted to bake them as well. Rosemary is a great addition here, thank you for sharing these, I just may make them yet!

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  24. Karla

    Ooh! I love that these are baked. I loooove arancini (and suppli! I used to buy them as random snacks when I lived in Rome).
    I would be scared of frying (not to mention it’s expensive like you point out). Baking is a great idea!

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  26. crisgzr

    Oh my! I have had Arancini Risotto is one thing I have never tried, but it’s on my list, now it’s on my to-do-this-week list! This one has me craving! Can’t wait to try it! A tip I’ve learned somewhere I can’t remember is to lightly spray a bit of olive oil on things you are baking rather than frying. The amt is so minimal. I bought an olive oil spritzer and it really does make a diff! I use it all the time!

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