Arancini (Rice Balls) with Marinara Sauce Recipe
My first taste of authentic arancini, or Italian rice balls, was at Stuzzi Ristorante, a tiny restaurant in Manhattan’s Flatiron neighborhood and just steps from where I attended culinary school. Back then, we knew the local hotspot as Bar Stuzzi, and it was a favorite for Italian small plates paired with towering glasses of crisp Prosecco. I’ll never forget my first taste of arancini, as my eyes went wide at the sight of the baseball-sized rice balls coated in breadcrumbs, deep-fried and served atop a bed of bright red marinara. They were a total triple threat: crunchy, creamy and cheesy. If fried rice isn’t your thing, then arancini are the ultimate excuse for using up what’s left of the ol’ Uncle Ben’s in the fridge. Although many arancini recipes begin with a risotto base, it’s perfectly acceptable to skip the 20-minute stir time and start with day-old rice.
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