ARANCINI – ITALIAN RICE BALLS
1 cup uncooked Arborio rice
2 teaspoons salt
14, ½” cubes provolone cheese
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
½ cup olive oil
½ cup vegetable oil
1 cup spaghetti or marina sauce
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
Place rice in a large sauce pan with 1 teaspoon of the salt and cover with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low-simmer and cook until all of the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Let the rice cool completely.
Scoop about 2-3 tablespoons of rice into your hand and form a ball about the size of golf ball. Press one piece of cheese into the center of the ball and form the rice around the cheese to completely cover it. Place balls on a foil lined cookie sheet sprayed with non-stick spray. This recipe makes about 14 arancini balls. Place the balls in the freezer and let set for about 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Beat the eggs and place in small bowl and place the breadcrumbs in another bowl. Heat the oil in a large skillet. The oil should be about ¼” deep and cover the bottom of the skillet.
Remove the rice balls from the freezer and dip each one into the egg and then roll in the panko crumbs to coat. Place in the hot oil and cook to golden brown on all sides, turning with tongs.
Place the golden balls back on the cookie sheet and sprinkle with remaining salt. Bake for 15-20 minutes until heated through and cheese is melted in the center. You can test with a thermometer or use my favorite foolproof method – eat one!
Serve with warm spaghetti sauce on the side for dipping. Garnish with parsley and parmesan cheese.