If you’ve never had arancini before, these little stuffed rice balls will change your life! The dish was created to make use of leftover risotto, which is chilled, rolled into balls, coated in breadcrumbs, then deep fried to until golden brown and crispy. I’ve put my own little spin on it by filling them with Fiorucci Pepperoni and Mozzarella Cheese Crumbles, making it a little pizza pocket you didn’t know you needed until now!
The Fiorucci Pepperoni and Mozzarella Cheese Crumbles are the perfect size for gently tucking into the risotto balls, creating a spicy, cheesy center to dive into. The fun flavors don't stop here! You can add Fiorucci Hard Salami and Mozzarella Crumbles or Fiorucci Prosciutto and Mozzarella Crumbles into these Arancini based on your preference. They’re also great as salad toppers, or even on top of mac and cheese (hello meat breadcrumbs!). Once you dip these crispy, crunchy rice balls into a sweet, velvety tomato sauce (inspired by Marcella Hazan's famous recipe), you’ll never look back.
This October, we’re celebrating Italian Heritage Month, and what better way to do so than with Fiorucci, who have been producing high-quality and authentic Italian products for 170 years. Fiorucci uses both old-world techniques and modern ways to deliver the tastes of Italy no matter where you are.
For the Arancini
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- 31/2 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, lightly packed
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- Kosher salt, as needed
- Freshly ground black pepper, as needed
- 6 ounces Fiorucci Pepperoni and Mozzarella Cheese Crumbles, Fiorucci Hard Salami and Mozzarella Crumbles, or Fiorucci Prosciutto and Mozzarella Crumbles
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
- 2 eggs, beaten
For the Tomato Sauce
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can passata or tomato puree
- 1 small bunch basil
- 1/2 small yellow onion
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon honey, or more as needed
- Kosher salt, as needed
In a medium sauce pot, add chicken stock on medium heat and keep warm.
Add oil to a large, deep skillet on medium heat. Sauté onion until translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Add arborio rice and stir to combine with onions and garlic. Toast rice until lightly golden brown, about 5 minutes.
Ladle in 1 cup warm stock, bring to a simmer, and cook, stirring often, until liquid is absorbed, about 3 minutes. Ladle in another 1 cup stock and continue to cook, stirring again, until most of the liquid is absorbed, 5-6 minutes. Add remaining 1½ cups stock and cook, stirring often, until rice is cooked through but still retains some texture and liquid is mostly absorbed, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in Parmesan, cream, and season with salt and pepper.
Spread risotto in an even layer on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. Chill for 1 hour.
While the risotto is chilling, make the tomato sauce. In a medium sauce pot on medium heat, add all ingredients. Simmer until the onion is soft and the flavors have married, 30-40 minutes. Remove from the heat, discard the onion and basil and cover with a lid and set aside.
Line another rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Scoop about ¼ cup of risotto into your hands and form into a patty about 2 ½-3 inches across. Place 2 teaspoons of Fiorucci Pepperoni and Mozzarella Cheese Crumbles in the center of the rice patty. Carefully pinch and shape risotto so it completely encases the cheese, then roll into a 2" ball. Place on a lined baking sheet and continue until all of the rice has been used. Put the baking sheet into the freezer for 15 minutes.
Add Italian breadcrumbs to a shallow bowl. Place flour in another shallow bowl. Lightly beat eggs in a third shallow bowl, season all bowls with salt and pepper. Working one at a time, dredge balls in flour, shaking off excess. Transfer to a bowl with egg and turn to coat, letting excess drip back into bowl. Coat with breadcrumbs, pressing gently to adhere. Transfer to a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Chill balls while you heat oil.
Pour oil into a medium Dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot. Heat over medium heat until a thermometer registers 350°F. Carefully lower 4-6 rice balls (depending on your pot size) into oil with a slotted spoon or spider and fry until deeply golden brown, 3-5 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain; season with salt. Be sure to check the oil temperature after 2 rounds of frying, as the temperature tends to drop once used. Repeat with remaining rice balls.
Serve warm with tomato sauce for dipping. Enjoy!