Arancini di Riso with Creamy Tomato-Olive Sauce
- Prep Time 0:25
- Cook Time 0:20
- Estimated Cost $8.50
- 27 Comments
Risotto isn’t one of those dishes (like say, chili) that improves the following day. After a night in the fridge, formerly creamy, delicate risotto becomes gummy and dense. Fortunately, it’s nothing a little cheese and a dip into hot oil can’t cure.
Arancini di Riso is true Italian BrokeAss cooking. Hot, crispy balls of chewy Arborio rice filled with melted cheese, swimming in a simple-yet-decadent tomato sauce…what better dish to make on a dreary, rainy Sunday like today? Serve these as a fancy appetizer or add a green salad and/or a hot bowl of soup and call it supper.
- extra virgin olive oil Pantry
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped Pantry
- 8-10 pitted Kalamata olives, chopped $2.50 for an 8-oz. jar
- 1 15-oz. can fire-roasted tomatoes, drained $1.50
- 1/8 cup half-and-half $1 for a pint
- salt and pepper to taste Pantry
- 2 cups leftover risotto (any kind)
- 4 oz. easily melt-able white cheese (mozzarella, fontina, white cheddar, etc.), cut into 1/2" cubes $3.50 for 8 oz.
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour Pantry
Recipe Serves 2-4
- Heat 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil in a medium heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds-1 minute or until very fragrant (be careful not to burn it). Add chopped olives and fire-roasted tomatoes. Cook for 8-10 minutes or until tomatoes begin to break down. Puree in a blender, food processor or using an immersion blender directly in the pot. Stir in half-and-half and allow to cook for another 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
- To prepare the arancini, wet your hands lightly to prevent sticking. Scoop about 3 tbsp risotto and place it in the palm of your hand. Place a cube of cheese in the middle of the mound of rice and use your hands to shape the rice into a ball around the cheese. Once the ball has been formed, roll the ball lightly in the flour and set aside. Repeat with remaining rice, cheese and flour until all the arancini have been assembled.
- Heat about 1" olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook the arancini in the hot oil until golden-brown and crispy on the outside. Work in batches if necessary. Cut into one arancini to make sure the cheese has melted before serving.
- To serve, spoon some of the sauce onto a platter or onto individual plates and top with the hot arancini. Serve immediately.