Arancini are essentially leftover risotto shaped into balls and fried. Leftover rice never tasted so good. Here’s how to make them.
Arancini are the stuff of memories for any child who’s spent any time whatsoever in the kitchen with his or her nonna. Natch, each child will have a different recollection of what proper arancini ought to be since regional and familial and personal preferences about how to make arancini vary quite dramatically. Don’t be shy about varying the mix-ins for this recipe according to what you happen to have on hand. And by all means feel free to use cold leftover risotto in place of the freshly cooked rice. That sort of frugal thinking is exactly the sort of mindset that created arancini in the first place. Originally published September 19, 2013. –Renee Schettler Rossi
How Arancini Got Their Name
These orbs of fried leftover risotto are a familiar sight throughout Italy and are typically known as arancini, although in Rome they’re referred to as telefono, so named because the strings of melted mozzarella that ooze out when you take a bite resemble telephone lines.
Arancini (Risotto Balls Stuffed with Mozzarella)
- Quick Glance
- 45 M
- 1 H, 10 M
- Makes 10 large or 15 small
Special Equipment: Deep-fry thermometer or candy thermometer or instant-read thermometer
IngredientsEmail Grocery List
Recipe Testers Reviews
I prepared the arancini according to the recipe as I had no leftover risotto. I found these quite different than the arancini I’m used to making, which are from Naples where the rice is not tossed with pureed tomatoes and the center has meat and peas rather than cheese. These fried risotto balls represent a classic peasant food where every bit of leftovers from the day before is assembled to honor resources and provide a meal. The flavor is very mellow. Wet hands help keep the rice from sticking when forming the balls. I used a cast-iron skillet to fry them up, which took only about 4 to 5 minutes to become a deep beautiful golden brown, just like the ones sold in my neighborhood pork store.