One of the dishes we cooked in the Food Academy at the Abergavenny Food Festival was Spiced Pumpkin Arancini. The reason I love this recipe is because it’s easy, incredibly filling and cheap. The Food Academy was sponsored by Organic Centre Wales so we had great quality organic ingredients, but you could certainly make it using supermarket brands and still enjoy a delicious meal. I’ve never made arancini before but growing up in Australia meant I had a copy of the Woman’s Weekly Italian Cookbook (all households are required by law to have at least one Australian Woman’s Weekly cookbook) which featured a recipe for suppli that is very similar. Basically both are fried rice balls with some sort of stuffing in the centre.
Don’t be be put of by the length of the ingredients list from the recipe supplied by Organic Centre Wales. It’s actually pretty simple even if it’s not that fast.
50g unsalted organic butter
450g arborio rice
splash of organic white wine
2 litres of warm organic vegetable stock (I used chicken)
1 small organic pumpkin 100g organic peas
125g freshly grated Y Fenni cheese (a gorgeous blend of cheddar with mustard seed and beer) I used mozzarella
salt and pepper to season
organic plain flour for dusting
1 organic egg, beaten
100g organic breadcrumbs
1 litre vegetable oil for frying
1. Chop pumpkin in half, deseed and slice into wedges. Rub with a little oil and roast for around an hour until flesh is soft. Cool, then scoop out flesh and put aside 2. Melt butter in heavy based saucepan. Add rice and cook 2-3 minutes on low, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t stick or colour. When it starts to go translucent around the edges add wine and cook for a further minute. 3. Add ladle full of warm stock and stir gently until absorbed. Add another ladle full and stir… repeat until all stock has been absorbed and the rice is cooked. Stir in roasted pumpkin, peas, and grated cheese.
While the recipe here calls to add grated cheese here, I chopped my mozzarella into cubes to add to the centre of the ball. You could skip the filling and add grated Parmesan and/or cheddar at this point.
2. spread the risotto on a tray and leave to cool.
3. Shape rice into orange sized balls, roll in flour, egg and breadcrumbs (I always egg and breadcrumb twice for a nice crunch) then shallow fry until golden. Drain cooked arancini on paper towels and serve with salad.
Needless to say, my fussy kids weren’t impressed but my husband was and cleaned his plate.