Arancini with Pepolata Sauce (Rice Balls with Pepper Sauce)
MOZZARELLA ARANCINI WITH PEPOLATA SAUCE
FOR THE ARANCINI RICE
350g Carnaroli rice
135g grated Parmesan
35ml olive oil
125g white onion, finely chopped
4 sprigs of parsley
4 sprigs of thyme
2 bay leaves
FOR PEPOLATA SAUCE
100ml vegetable stock
1 garlic clove, peeled and diced
3g ground black pepper
30ml olive oil
50g white onion, diced
100g red pepper, deseeded and chopped
100g yellow pepper, deseeded and chopped
80g bread crumbs
2 eggs, for egg wash
500ml whole milk
600g ‘00’ flour
500ml vegetable oil
100g buffalo mozzarella
Handful of basil leaves
Parsley, to garnish
1. To make the arancini rice: tie the parsley, thyme and bay leaves together with string. Gently sweat the chopped onions with the bundle of herbs in olive oil. Add the Carnaroli rice and stir making sure all the grains are coated with the olive oil. Season.
2. Add water to the pan and bring to the boil. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook for 8 to 12 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed. Leave the rice to cool and then mix in the grated Parmesan.
3. To make the pepolata sauce: in a large pot heat the olive oil, then add the onions and garlic, lightly brown, then add the peppers. Once the peppers have browned add the vegetable stock and simmer until the peppers are tender. Place the pepper mix and some of the liquid in a blender, (you may not need all of the liquid). Blend until you have a smooth paste and season to taste.
4. To make the arancini: take 60g of the prepared arancini rice and use your hands to roll it into a ball. Use your finger to create a hole in the rice ball and stuff it with a small piece of mozzarella and a small piece of fresh basil. Reshape into a neat ball.
5. Roll the ball in the flour, then in the egg and milk mix and finally roll in the breadcrumbs. Heat the vegetable oil in a pan and deep fry the arancini ball until golden brown. Serve with a side portion of the pepolata sauce and garnish with a sprig of parsley.