Red Wine Arancini (Crispy Risotto Balls)

Photo by Jonathan Timmes

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4-6 servings

    Risotto Base
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced shallot
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 cup Carnaroli or Arborio rice
  • 1 cup button mushrooms, minced
  • 2 cups pinot noir
  • 4–6 cups hot chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup good-quality Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
  • Salt and pepper
  • Arancini
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 4–6 cups grapeseed or vegetable oil
  • Risotto base (recipe above)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a medium saucepan over low heat, heat the olive oil. Add the shallot and garlic and cook until translucent but not browned.
  2. Add the rice and stir gently with a wooden spoon. When the rice is coated with the oil, 1–2 minutes, add the mushrooms.
  3. Cook for 1–2 minutes more and add the pinot noir. Simmer, stirring frequently, until the wine is almost completely evaporated.
  4. Add enough chicken stock to cover the rice and continue to simmer, stirring frequently until most of the stock has been absorbed by the rice. Cover with chicken stock again and reduce until fully absorbed. Taste the rice. It should be al dente with a little bite in the center of the grain but not crunchy.
  5. Remove rice from heat and stir in the butter and cheese to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
  6. Spread the risotto out on a baking sheet and cool in the refrigerator. The risotto base can be made up to 2 days in advance.


  1. Place the flour in one bowl and the breadcrumbs in another.
  2. Whisk the eggs and cream together in a third bowl and place it between the other two bowls.
  3. In a deep fryer or heavy pot, heat the oil to 350 degrees.
  4. Roll the cooled risotto base into balls the diameter of a quarter.
  5. Dredge each ball in the flour, then in the egg-cream mixture, and then in the breadcrumbs.
  6. Fry the risotto balls for 2–3 minutes or until golden brown. With a slotted spoon, remove the risotto balls from the oil and drain on paper towels.  Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

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