50 mlolive oil¼onion, finely chopped200 gmarborio rice750 ml (3 cups)hot chicken stock1 tbspfinely chopped thyme50 gmparmesan, finely grated30 gmbutter, coarsely chopped40 gmprovolone piccanteFor coating:plain flour2eggs, lightly beaten250 gmfine soft white breadcrumbs, for coatingFor deep-frying:sunflower oilTo serve:baby basil leaves and aioli
Heat oil in a saucepan over low heat, add onion, stir occasionally until tender (3-5 minutes), add rice, stir to coat, then add stock, little by little, until rice is slightly overcooked and stock is absorbed (18-20 minutes). Add thyme, parmesan and butter and stir until creamy (1-2 minutes), remove from heat. Meanwhile, finely grate 15g provolone, add to rice mixture, spread over a tray and cool to room temperature, then refrigerate to chill (1-1½ hours).
Cut remaining provolone into 5mm cubes and set aside. Shape walnut-sized balls of rice mixture with your hands, then push a provolone cube into centre of each, pressing rice around to enclose completely. Roll rice balls in flour, then beaten egg and finally breadcrumbs, shaking off excess in between, ensuring they are completely coated. Refrigerate on a tray to chill (30 minutes).
Preheat oil in a deep saucepan or deep-fryer to 200C. Deep-fry arancini in batches, turning occasionally, until golden (3-5 minutes; be careful as hot oil may spit). Scatter with baby basil and serve hot with aioli.
This recipe is from the May 2011 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.