Thursday, 3 March 2016

Arancini balls + Parmigiana Sauce

Mmm... fried risotto balls... *Homer Simpson style gargle*

A few weeks ago, my Lemon and Blueberry Loaf was featured over on Only Taste Matters, alongside this delicious-looking gluten free arancini dish by Swirls and Spice.

In a state of sheer food envy, I attempted to make a vegan friendly version of my own and adapted these simple arancini and parmagiana sauce recipes to what I had in the cupboards.

These were delicious and although a bit time consuming, quite simple to make at home. You'll make a simple risotto and allow it to cool completely, then take spoonfuls of the rice and roll them into balls, coat them with gram flour and gently fry off.

Whilst the risotto cools, you'll make the parmigiana sauce which just goes perfectly with arancini balls - so all in all you'll need a few hours before serving them up, but that's mainly due to waiting for the risotto cool.

The perfect scenario would be to save leftover risotto next time you have it for tea and make these for lunch the next day!

You have probably already noticed that I use measuring cups quite a bit - this is mainly because I find lots of recipes online which use them and they're really quick to use and a bit less washing up than scales, too.

For the arancini balls, you will need:

1 tbsp sunflower oil, for cooking with
1 large onion
2 cloves of garlic, or if you're lazy like me - 1 tsp of Lazy Garlic (it's already chopped!)
2 cups of Arborio risotto rice
1 tbsp dried mixed herbs
6 cups (1.5ltrs) of vegetable stock - I made mine with 2 vegetable OXO cubes
Black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup of plain flour
1/2 cup of gram flour
Oil and a frying pan for shallow frying the arancini balls

For the parmigiana sauce, you will need:

1tbsp sunflower oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed (or again, 1 tsp Lazy Garlic)
1 tbsp dried mixed herbs
1 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
Approx. 1/2 cup of hot water


1) Heat the 1tbsp of oil in a large saucepan and when hot, gently fry the onions until soft. Add the garlic and cook for approx. a minute.

2) Add the Arborio rice and herbs and cook whilst stirring for approx. 3 minutes.

3) Gradually add the stock, a cup at a time or so, and wait for it to be absorbed before adding the next cup. Stir all the while. Once all the stock has been added, continue stirring until the rice is soft and the risotto has a lovely oozy consistency.

4) Allow the rice to cool and meanwhile, make the parmigiana sauce.

5) Heat the sunflower oil in another, smaller saucepan. Add the chopped onion and fry until softened. Add the garlic and herbs and cook for approx. 3 mins. Pour in the tin of chopped tomatoes, give it all a good stir and bring to a simmer. Cover the pan and allow to simmer very gently for around 20 minutes. Add some hot water if you think the sauce is a little thick, I added around 1/2 a cup.

6) Sprinkle the gram flour onto a plate. Once the risotto is cool, stir in the plain flour and wet your hands before rolling the risotto into balls and then roll them into the gram flour and set aside.

7) In a heavy-bottomed frying pan, heat a couple of inches of oil until very hot. You can test the heat by dropping a small amount of the risotto into it, it should fry very quickly, bubble and golden.

8) Once the oil is hot enough, carefully place each of the balls into the oil a couple at a time and fry them for a minute or so on each side until crispy and golden all over. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and place on a plate lined with kitchen paper to absorb excess oil.

9) Serve with your hot parmigiana sauce and enjoy!

I've added this recipe to the Meat Free Mondays linky on Tinned Tomatoes