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Arancini: Risotto Leftover Balls

I already shared with you the recipe of the Mussel Risotto, which is the one I used in this Arancini recipe. I added some mozzarella cheese pieces inside the balls to make it extra rich, but it's totally optional. The photos are dark because I made this during the evening.  I hope you enjoy it!


Roasted tomatoes
4 medium tomatoes, cut in half
+- 200g vine, cheery or rosa tomatoes (about 2 cups)
1 T olive oil
a sprigs of thyme
Sea salt and Pepper

2 T olive oil
1 small white onion, finely chopped
1 cup of risotto rice
1/2 cup of dry white wine
3/4 cup of pureed roasted tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
+- 1 litre stock (use any good quality chicken or vegetable stock), kept warm on the stove
small handful of fresh basil, finely shredded
3/4 cup roasted baby tomatoes, roughly chopped

1 liter sunflower oil
roasted tomato risotto (as per above)
1 x 85g tin Lucky Star smoked mussels, drained
30 - 40g Parmesan cheese, finely grated
1 cup flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
3 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 - 2 cups bread crumbs
basil aioli and fresh lemon wedges to serve


Preheat the oven to 180 C / 350 F, arrange the tomatoes on a tray.
Drizzle over the olive oil, scatter the thyme leaves and sprigs, and season generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 minutes. Remove and set aside.

When the tomatoes have roasted, start on the risotto. Heat the olive oil in a heavy based pot and sweat your onion until it has softened. About 5 minutes. Add the rice and stir to coat the grains. As they just start popping / catching add the white wine and stir continuously until it is absorbed. Add the pureed roasted tomatoes and garlic and continue stirring. Add the hot stock one ladle at a time until the risotto is cooked but still al dente. About 3 minutes before the end, add the rest of the roasted tomatoes and the finely shredded basil. Add the grated Parmesan, and adjust seasoning to your taste.

To make your arancini, set up a production line with your breading ingredients laid out in flat dishes next to each other. Scoop the chilled risotto into your palm, pop a smoked mussel in the middle and mould the rice over it and roll gently into a ball. You could pop all your risotto balls on a tray and put them in the fridge to firm up even more before the next part. Lightly roll this in the flour, quickly dunk it through the egg to coat (do not leave it in the egg at all), and immediately put it on the bread crumbs and lightly coat. Heat your oil in a large heavy based pot until it has reached 190C / 375 F and fry the arancini in batches until golden brown Drain on kitchen paper.

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