“What is arancini?” I am sure some of you will have this question in mind while reading this dish name. Well, arancini is an Italian dish consisting of rice balls stuffed with cheese, coated with breadcrumbs and deep-fried to become a perfect savory ball of goodness.
Sounds great, right? Yeah, but this deep-fried version can be unwholesome, and as I love to serve healthy and tasty dishes, I deconstructed this entire dish and baked it while keeping all the authentic Italian flavors intact.
My recipe starts with making risotto. With arborio rice, parmesan cheese, onions, garlic, butter, olive oil, and thyme, it’s super creamy and rich, without the unnecessary fat.
Finally to serve this deconstructed version of arancini I choose small glass cups. These cups not only gave a nice snapshot of the layers but also reflects a beautiful hue and arrangement. In the bottom, I poured the marinara sauce. The zesty and sharp taste of this sauce became a good base for the cheesy risotto which was there in the second layer, and lastly, the breadcrumbs from top completed the feel of it.
Make it for your family or friends, and I am sure people will go crazy over it! A spoon of it in the mouth will make you relish all creamy, crunchy and tangy flavors at once. You will feel the taste of every grain of rice and the aroma and the last sprinkle of herb-infused truffle oil will transport you to the land of Italy!!
STEP BY STEP VIDEO:
Arancini Risotto Cups - These gorgeous deconstructed Arancini cups, made of generous layers of creamy mushroom risotto, tangy marinara sauce, and crispy bread crumbs, are a sure fire way to win over anyone’s heart! Enjoy the layers of flavor and dynamic taste, which will transport you to the land of Italy!!
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp celery , finely chopped
- 1 tsp garlic , finely chopped
- 1 medium onion , finely chopped
- 2 cups button mushrooms , finely chopped
- 1 1/2 cup arborio rice
- 4 sprigs thyme
- 1/2 cup white wine (optional)
- 8 cups vegetable stock (hot) or more as needed
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese , finely grated (save 2 tbsp for garnish)
- 4 tbsp bread crumbs
- 1/2 tsp mixed herb blend
- truffle oil for topping
- salt to taste
In a large saucepan add butter, olive oil, garlic, celery and shallots (onions). Sauté them for about 5 minutes until they are nicely toasted.
Add in the arborio rice and sauté for another 5 minutes on medium heat. Simultaneously, heat up the vegetable stock in a large saucepan.
Once the rice is brown and fragrant, add in about 1/2 cup of white wine (or hot stock). Stir vigorously.
Add in the chopped mushrooms, thyme, and another 1/2 of hot stock once the rice has absorbed the liquid.
Continue this process of adding 1/2 cup hot stock once the rice absorbs the liquid for the next 30 minutes. Be sure to stir it continuously.
The rice is done when it’s soft and creamy on the outside and al dente inside, but not mushy. At this point, add in some truffle oil, parmesan cheese, butter, and salt to taste. Also take out the thyme stalks.
To serve, in small cups, add some marinara sauce, a layer of risotto, and a breadcrumb topping (herbs, parmesan, and breadcrumbs).
Bake for 5-10 minutes on 350oF/180oC till it is brown on the top.
Garnish with truffle oil, dried herbs and enjoy!
- Risotto should be cooked on medium heat.
- Vegetable stock has to be hot and added half cup at a time while cooking the rice. Keep stock at a simmer in a small pan so everything stays hot and ensures that the rice cooks evenly and brings out the flavor.
- Risotto should have body, but should not be mushy or gluey. Stirring the rice continuously will add air into the risotto which will cool it down and make it gluey. But, if you don't stir enough the rice will stick to the bottom and burn.
- I topped the arancini risotto cups with parmesan crisps which adds another layer of crispness to the dish and looks great.
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DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?