I make these little Arancini for canapes or snacks if there are a few people. They are gluten free if made with rice crumbs or gluten free panko crumbs and can be all kinds of flavours. I never get sick of them and they can be eaten hot or cold. I know that some people make these out of left over risotto, and you can, but I find them more successful if the rice is made only for Arancini
The first time I ate Arancini I was in Florence. They weren’t a tiny Arancini like this, they were large and eggshaped, sometimes filled with ragu. We cut and shared them in the afternoons sitting at a roadside cafe up on the hill at the Piazza Michelangelo. Afternoons here were for cruising and checking out the locals. Chatting to our favourite gelato guys or slurping Frappes in the heat.
After the blissful afternoons, I would cook dinner for 100 people before going out and watching the sexy Italians dance at the clubs and restaurants that would always welcome me like an old friend. I spent the entire summer in Florence.
I used this beautiful Acquarello rice which is a bit over the top, but I had a can in the cupboard. Each grain is separate and tastes wonderful. You can use any risotto rice for these including the supermarket bought Aborio. This is mushy but works well for Arancini
Tiny Arancini with Tonnato Sauce
- 200 gm risotto rice carnaroli or aborio (1 cup)
- 750 ml chicken stock 25.4 oz
- 50 gm butter 1-2 ozs
- 40 ml olive oil
- 150 gm onion diced
- 1 clove garlic crushed
- 100 gm Parmesan cheese grated
- 150 gm bacon 2 small rashers derinded and cut finely
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 bunch chopped parsley or other soft herb
- 200 gm breadcrumbs or rice crumbs
- 100 gm Flour for dusting or gluten free flour
- 250 ml milk
- 1 whole egg beaten mixed milk
Tonnato Dipping Sauce
- 1 whole egg 1 whole and 1 yolk if small
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 20 ml white wine vinegar
- 1/4 piece preserved lemon or zest of half a lemon
- 200 ml vegetable / grapeseed oil
- 100 ml olive oil
- 100 gm tuna in oil drained,
- Sweat the onion, bacon and rice together with the olive oil in a medium sized pot until the onions are soft, without browning.
- Slowly add the stock letting it completely absorb each time you add more. The mixture should be firm and not soupy. The rice should be cooked. If you need to add more or less stock then do (not all rices absorb the same amount of liquid). When the stock is absorbed finish by mixing in the Parmesan cheese and the butter along with salt and pepper to taste). Pour onto a tray or brownie tin and cool . Let this cool as long as possible till quite cold.
- When cooled it will be quite firm. Roll into walnut sized balls. Roll in flour, then egg and crumb them. Refrigerate again till firm
- Deep fry ( in a medium sized pot in vegetable oil) for best results, or shallow fry if you prefer
- Put the tuna, egg , dijon, vinegar, preserved lemon or zest in a food processor and mix. Gradually add the olive oil then the plain oil until the mayonnaise is thick. .
- If you want it thicker add a little more olive oil... thinner a little less or add a drop or two of water. ( or process your favourite mayonnaise with the Tuna)
Try these little party bits. best to make the rice a day ahead if possible so it is well chilled and thick and sticky. fry to order or make them ahead and reheat in the oven. They go amazingly well with tonnato sauce. that as it sounds is a sauce made from cooked canned tuna. it’s often served with veal but boy oh boy it works well with these little Arancini
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