Italians have the best comfort food. These little gems are called arancini, which translates into ‘little orange’. They were reportedly created to use up leftover risotto. We don’t have this, uh, leftover risotto problem that they speak of in my house, so I whipped up a fresh batch of silky roasted butternut squash and sage risotto. It is then wrapped around smoked prosciutto and fresh mozzarella, rolled in breadcrumbs and fried. Delicious! Arancini are perfect to serve for an appetizer or snack, or serve on a salad for a meal.

 

For the Arancini:Arancin Recipe and Photos by Emily Tanaka00002
Makes 14-16
1 recipe roasted butternut squash risotto (recipe follows)
1/2 cup grated fresh parmigiano-reggiano
3 eggs, beaten
2 cups breadcrumbs
1/2 cup flour
16 cherry sized boconccini balls
50 grams smoked prosciutto slices
1/4 tsp ground dry sage
salt and pepper to taste
Store bought aioli and pesto to serve
Vegetable oil for frying

 

Wrap thin slices of smoked prosciutto around the bocconcini. Combine cooled risotto with the parmigiano, mixing well. Place 2 heaping tablespoons of mixture in palm of your hand and shape into a flat disk. Press a bocconcini/prosciutto ball gently into the centre and shape the risotto around it, sealing it well. Think of making a snowball.  Place on a parchment lined baking tray and continue with the rest of the mix. Place completed arancini in freezer for half an hour. Meanwhile, preheat 3″ of vegetable oil in a deep skillet over medium high heat. Set out 3 shallow bowls and place the breadcrumbs, eggs and flour in each. Season the flour with salt, pepper and sage. Remove arancini from freezer. Carefully coat each ball in flour, then dip in eggs, shaking off excess egg mixture. Roll in breadcrumbs, reshape and fry in oil until golden brown, about 2-3 min each. Serve hot with aioli, marinara or pesto, and enjoy!

 

For the Risotto:Arancin Recipe and Photos by Emily Tanaka00005
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, divided in half
1 cup finely diced onion (I used vidalia)
1 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 cups low sodium organic chicken broth
1.5 Tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup grated fresh parmigiano-reggiano
4 Tablespoons fresh sage,finely chopped
1 cup roasted butternut squash purée (recipe follows)
Salt and pepper to taste

 

In small saucepan, bring broth just to a boil and reduce heat to keep it at a simmer.
In large heavy saucepan, heat the olive oil and half of the butter over medium high. Once butter melts, reduce the heat to medium and add the onions. Sauté until just caramelized. Add the rice and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently until rice is mostly translucent. Add the sage, salt, pepper and white wine, stirring in a figure 8 pattern until wine is mostly absorbed. Add 1 cup of hot broth and stir frequently until absorbed. Continue adding the broth half a cup at a time, making sure the liquid is almost completely absorbed each time. Add the white balsamic and the lemon juice with the last of the broth. Stir in the squash purée until well combined, followed by the parmigiano and remaining 2 Tablespoons of butter. Remove from heat and spread onto a parchment covered baking tray and place in fridge to cool.

 
For the Roasted Butternut Squash purée:
1 medium butternut squash
6-8 cloves of garlic
1 Tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper
3 Tablespoons heavy cream
1/4 cup low sodium organic chicken broth

 

Peel, de-seed and wash butternut squash. Cut into small cubes and toss with oil, salt, pepper and garlic, leaving garlic cloves whole. Spread evenly on parchment lined baking tray and roast at 350 degrees, until the edges of the squash begin to caramelize, about 35-40 minutes. Remove from oven and place in food processor with stock and cream, purée until smooth.


Emily is photographer, foodie and crafter who has been honing her cooking skills since 6 years old. Formerly an executive catering specialist for advertising agencies, Emily is now combining her love of food and photography into a blog to be launched soon. Stay tuned!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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