Arancini with Tomato Sauce
Finger food that complements a summer wine tasting.
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
½ red onion, diced
1 cup carnaroli or aborio rice
½ cup dry white wine
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
¼ cup butter
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup mozzarella, finely diced or grated
3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup coarse bread crumbs
2 cups vegetable oil, for frying
½ cup homemade or prepared tomato sauce (plain marinara works best)
The first step is to prepare risotto. When the rice is cooked, stir in butter, lemon juice and zest, then add salt and pepper to taste. Stir and once mixed, pour out onto a baking sheet and let cool.
Meanwhile, heat vegetable oil in a pot until a deep-frying thermometer registers 350°F or until a cube of bread browns in about 2 minutes.
Take a flat, golf-ball-sized portion of rice mixture in the palm of your hand. Add a pinch of mozzarella and 2–3 thyme leaves in the centre, then wrap rice around filling to form into a ball.
When you have made all of the rice balls, dip each one in the beaten egg, then roll through bread crumbs to cover.
Fry, turning carefully from time to time, for 4–5 minutes, until golden brown. Remove and drain on a paper towel and serve over a dollop of tomato sauce. Serves 6–8.
Pairing: The Okanagan has many fine rosés, but this dish calls for one that is on the dry side, like the 100-percent gamay version from Bartier Scholefield.