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Oven-baked arancini

Recipe blog

Oven-baked arancini

Emily Kerrigan

Get into the habit of purposefully always making too much (or double quantities), when you make a tomato risotto and the pay-off for standing and stirring the risotto for 20 minutes one night, is a super-speedy tea for the kids the next. Arancini are traditionally fried using the refrigerated, leftover rice but you can get an equally satisfying crunch by rolling them in polenta and baking in the oven. This is a perfect recipe for really little kids, as no measuring or precision is required - in fact, they can help with every step without needing so much as a sharp knife.

Serves 2

leftover tomato risotto
1 ball mozzarella
salt and pepper
polenta, for rolling

Takes 20 minutes

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas mark 6. Pop the risotto in a mixing bowl.

2. Show the kids how to drain the mozzarella then get them to chop it up as small as possible with a table knife (no sharp knife required). Pop it in with the risotto and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper, then get them to wet their hands under the tap.

3. Show them how to scrunch the mixture with their hands to bring it together, then roll it into little ping pong-sized balls. Pop them in a lightly oiled roasting tray, tip a little polenta into a mug then get the kids to scatter the polenta over the arancini. Shake the tray to distribute the polenta and move the balls around to make sure they're evenly coated.

4. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes or until golden and crisp and serve with a green salad.