(also called Arancini)
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 onion, minced
1 pound arborio rice
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
2 tablespoons freshly grated grana padano cheese (hard, Parmesan-type cheese)
2 tablespoons butter
salt and pepper to taste
12 ounces fresh mozzarella, cubed
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup unflavored bread crumbs
In a small sauce pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and sauté the onion for about 3 to 5 minutes, or until translucent. Add the rice and cook for 3 minutes. Add the white wine and one third of the broth and stir until absorbed. Add an additional third of the broth and continue stirring. Add the final third of the broth and continue stirring until absorbed. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 10 to 15 minutes.
Add the grana padano, butter, 1 egg, salt, and pepper. Divide the rice into 16 small portions. Place 1 or 2 cubes of mozzarella in the middle of each portion and form them into little balls. Beat the remaining 3 eggs. Roll the rice balls in the flour. Dip balls into the beaten eggs, roll in the bread crumbs, and fry in the hot remaining olive oil until golden-brown. Serves 8.
Editor’s note: This recipe has not been tested by Texas Monthly.