About this recipe:I used to live in Sicily, and these were a favourite of mine! 'Arancini' means 'Little Oranges' in Italian, named so because the little breaded rice balls resemble small oranges so much. This version is a delightful combination of white cheese and spinach. We love it! This can be made the night or a couple of days ahead of time, and cooked at the last minute for a surprising treat for guests. Some people enjoy dipping them into Marinara or sour cream based dips. Enjoy!
Bring 4 cups chicken stock and saffron threads to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Stir in Arborio rice, return to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the rice is tender, yet still a little firm, about 16 minutes.
Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in onion, and cook for one minute, then stir in garlic, and continue cooking until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in wine, spinach, and butter, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and fold in cooked rice and Parmesan cheese; cook a few minutes until the mixture is a little stiff. Spread onto a baking tray, and cool in the refrigerator until completely cold, 4 hours to overnight.
Once the rice mixture has cooled, form the arancini by enclosing a cube of mozzarella cheese in about 3 tablespoons of the rice to form a 1 inch ball; set aside. When you have finished making the balls, place flour, eggs, and bread crumbs into separate, shallow bowls. One-by-one, gently roll the arancini in the flour to coat, then shake off excess. Dip into beaten egg, then roll in bread crumbs; set aside.
Heat the oil in a deep-fryer or electric skillet to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Deep fry the arancini 5 or 6 at a time in the hot oil until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Be sure to roll the arancini around with a metal spoon as they cook so they are evenly browned on all sides. Drain on paper towels, and serve hot.
The nutrition data for this recipe includes information for the full amount of the breading ingredients. The actual amount consumed will vary. We have determined the nutritional value of oil for frying based on a retention value of 10% after cooking. The exact amount may vary depending on cook time and temperature, ingredient density, and the specific type of oil used.