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Baked Rosemary and Garlic Arancini

April 21, 2012


One of the most enjoyable things about food blogging is its innate ability to furnish one with a wider knowledge of food, via the community. Though no one blog has influenced, or inspired me, in a particularly direct sense, certain ideas, as well as types of food, do tend to rub-off onto my gastronomic sleeve fairly frequently. Of course, that doesn’t mean that none of you are inspirational, you most certainly are, only that my blog has a very distinct drive and direction. This dish marks just one of the many culinary blotches which reside upon my metaphorical garments and I am so glad that it decided to transfer itself so vividly. Indeed, though they take a little time, care and preparation, arancini, which are essentially crispy balls of risotto, are exceptionally delicious, almost to the point of fatal delirium.

As has just been mentioned, arancini are balls of rice covered by breadcrumbs. It seems that such an effect is usually achieved by deep-fat frying. However, preparing food in such a way is not, in my opinion, particularly appealing; especially since baking does a better job. If followed correctly, this recipe will produce the crunchiest balls ever to have graced the mouths of WordPress’ most fervent food bloggers. The risotto, as if by magic, manages to remain remarkably gooey, yet stable; whilst the outer surface of egg and breadcrumbs forms an impressive protective shell. In truth, no recipe was remotely consulted when approaching these spherical delights; the addition of rosemary was as much inspired by Captain Corelli’s Mandolin as it was by personal preference. Of course, one may deep fat fry these if they so wish. However, such action is inadvisable since the world could do without another hardened artery.

Baked Rosemary and Garlic Arancini

Makes 10-12 balls


• 150g arborio rice

• 400-500ml vegetable stock

• 100ml dry white wine

• 1 small onion, finely chopped

• 2 cloves of garlic, mashed

• 2 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped

• A handful of parmesan, roughly 50g

• A small knob of butter

• Plenty of breadcrumbs, enough to cover the balls

• A little flour, plain is good

• 1 egg, beaten

• Seasoning

• Olive oil


1. Begin by frying the onions in a little olive oil. After 5 minutes add the garlic and ¾ of the rosemary, cook for a further 5 minutes. Add the rice and cook for an extra minute or so. Pour in the wine and cook until it has been absorbed. Then begin to add the stock little by little until it has all been absorbed and the rice has a little bite to it. Take the risotto off the heat and stir in the butter and parmesan. Pop the lid on the pan and set aside for 2-3 minutes. Now, transfer it to a bowl, allow it to cool and leave it in the fridge overnight, or for at least 2 hours.

2. By now the risotto should be easy to shape into balls. Do this, it should make 10-12 balls, and pop them back in the fridge of 10 minutes. Heat the oven to 200C and mix the breadcrumbs with the remaining rosemary and a little seasoning. Roll each ball consecutively in the flour, then the egg and finally the breadcrumbs – ensure an even coating. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until golden and crispy. Eat immediately with a lovely fresh salad.

Cost: The transformation of the risotto into arancini should cost on next to nothing; this makes the prospect particularly enticing. So, overall this meal, not including salad, should set one back £1.80 or so – not bad considering it is enough for 3-4 people. Indeed, they are surprisingly filling.

145 Comments leave one →
  1. April 21, 2012 10:04 am

    What a fantastic idea to make baekd arancini. When I was a child and we used to spend summers in Calabria, it was a treat for us to stop off from the beach on the way home and buy a bag of these to eat!

    • April 25, 2012 11:40 pm

      I couldn’t bring myself to deep fry them – oil costs too. That sounds incredible 😀

  2. sophie king permalink
    April 21, 2012 12:53 pm

    My mouth is watering at the prospect of making these. Absolutely love risotto! 😀

  3. April 21, 2012 12:56 pm

    Arancini is a favourite entree of mine 😀
    You have created a decadent delicious recipe for it!

    Choc Chip Uru

  4. April 21, 2012 12:57 pm

    Yum! A local eatery makes these, they serve them with sauces. I love the ones they serve with a sweet tomato and basil sauce. Delicious! I will have to give these a try. Thanks for sharing!

  5. April 21, 2012 1:26 pm

    There is a little Italian family owned place in my neighborhood which introduced me to these with a meat and vegetable mixture inside, but they deep fry them. I’m so so so glad there is a way to enjoy them with out all the fat but with all the crunch. I WILL be trying this one! Thank you!

    • April 25, 2012 11:38 pm

      That sounds wonderful! I will get around to a meat version for sure. I really hope you try them.

  6. April 21, 2012 2:25 pm

    What a great way to use left over risotto (is there such a thing?) and baking them is perfect.

    • April 25, 2012 11:37 pm

      Thanks! I believe there is, but it’s very difficult to find – you have to be a member of the occult for a start.

  7. April 21, 2012 3:07 pm

    oh.. my.. I can’t believe you got past the skillet without several spoonfuls missing?? These look entirely decadent and I’m glad they’re baked, it would be tough to stop at a few!

  8. Danielle permalink
    April 21, 2012 3:32 pm

    I had never heard of arancini, these sound delicious! I also love your idea of baking instead of frying, as that’s the method i prefer for most things. The pictures are wonderful too, my mouth was watering after seeing the first one!

  9. April 21, 2012 3:43 pm

    You had me at Rosemary….then hooked me in with the Captain Corelli’s Mandolin reference. I’m going to give that book a re-read and this recipe a definite try!

  10. April 21, 2012 3:47 pm

    I’m not really a rice person but those look very good, Frugal! I’m influenced and inspired by everyone!

  11. April 21, 2012 4:20 pm

    I adore arancini because I love risotto and I love fried, crunchy things. It seems, though, that excellent crunch can also be achieved through baking! What a great idea! And really a lot less messy than frying. I will have to try this soon!

  12. April 21, 2012 4:31 pm

    This sounds and looks fantastic! I can’t wait to try it. I feel the same way about baking instead of frying. Why add all that extra fat when the oven does just as good of a job?

  13. April 21, 2012 4:38 pm

    I love arancici! And haven’t thought about making these for quite some time. Thank you for this most delicious reminder!

    • April 25, 2012 11:32 pm

      Haha – arancici, I made that mistake :P. Thanks, Karista.

      • April 26, 2012 6:13 am

        i knew it was arancini but my iPad spell check insisted otherwise. Haha!

      • May 1, 2012 11:23 pm

        Haha! I don’t know why mine did it. Human error I suppose.

  14. April 21, 2012 4:40 pm

    Great idea to bake instead of fry these. I ate arancini in Sicily last summer on several occasions and the quality varies wildly – they can often be too heavy and fatty so this sounds perfect!

  15. April 21, 2012 4:41 pm

    Arancini are wonderful to begin with, and now you’ve made them better by omitting the deep frying! A great idea for leftover risotto too, but it’s tempting just to get straight to it and make these right off the bat, as you suggest.

  16. April 21, 2012 5:55 pm

    Frugal, you are definitely an inspiration to me. Reading your blog leaves me with little bits of ideas that I incorporate into my own cooking.


  17. April 21, 2012 6:40 pm

    We had aroncini balls last weekend at a neighbour’s house – loved them! Yours look absolutely amazing and baking instead of frying sounds like a healthier alternative.

  18. April 21, 2012 6:43 pm

    Unreal! These look amazing and I could not agree with you more on the baking vs. frying. Deep frying especially is something I have only attempted once or twice (for Indian). Bravo!

    • April 25, 2012 11:29 pm

      Thanks so much, Shira! I only ever deep fry for some of my Indian dishes. I should see if alternatives work 😀

      • April 26, 2012 12:31 am

        Sometimes Indian just HAS to be deep fried and I am the same as you! It’s the only time I do it! I wonder if there are good alternatives? I’ll look forward to seeing that!! 😉

      • May 1, 2012 11:26 pm

        I agree! there are certain circumstances, but it has to avoided wherever possible.

  19. April 21, 2012 6:59 pm

    Never seen this dish before, this is what you are talking about in your first paragraph. It looks great.

  20. April 21, 2012 7:00 pm

    Baked arancini do seem way more appealing that feep fried – I’m always afraid they’ll just disintegrate in the oil. Gorgeous. Can’t wait for my next batch of risotto leftovers!

    • April 25, 2012 11:27 pm

      They really do! I’m generally not a fan of deep fried. Thanks for commenting, Korena.

  21. April 21, 2012 8:06 pm

    I never thought about eat risotto in this format but ironically I recently had some when I went on vacation to Italy. What a great way to eat risotto! Your recipe looks great.

  22. April 21, 2012 9:18 pm

    Wow, looks delicious! The fact that they’re baked makes it more appealing to me. I used to make panko breaded patties out of leftover risotto, but I’m trying this out next time instead.

  23. egg me on permalink
    April 21, 2012 10:18 pm

    These look great. Many commenters have said this, but I love that they’re baked, too. That risotto is pretty awesome as is, I bet.

    • April 25, 2012 11:26 pm

      Thanks! They have indeed, it was a comment coup for me :D. Yes, I had a spoonful – it was delicious.

  24. April 21, 2012 10:56 pm

    we had risotto tonoight and I was hoping for some leftovers – no chance we scoffed the lot! But I’m loving the idea of baking them, I’ve shallow fried them before – or should I say saute?

    • April 25, 2012 11:26 pm

      Oh no! you should restrain yourselves! Haha. Saute or fry, both are good, Claire 😀

  25. April 22, 2012 12:42 am

    Oh yumm. I’m delighted that you’ve presented a baking technique for this recipe. Can’t wait to give it a try!

  26. April 22, 2012 3:28 am

    I love arancini. My grandfather used to hide a small nugget of mozzarella inside the ball. When you’d cut into it, the cheese would just ooze out. Loved it!

    • April 25, 2012 11:22 pm

      That’s a great idea – my girlfriend does the same. I’ll likely give them another go, so I’ll probably do tomato and mozzarella arancini next. That sounds so tempting.

  27. April 22, 2012 3:53 am

    I like that you baked them instead of deep frying them.

  28. April 22, 2012 8:19 am

    My family makes these and they are always over the top amazing. Love your rendition and to see that you’re baking them. Looks exquisite. I need to come up with my own variation as well!

  29. April 22, 2012 10:04 am

    I’d never think that baking them in the oven would produce such a great looking result. Fantastic!

  30. April 22, 2012 10:23 am

    Must say Nick, loving the healthier approach to not deep frying! I often see these recipes and think ‘well yes, most things would take good deep friend though’, and it’s much more of a testiment to a recipe if it can be baked and still be fabulous. Now, off to find you on Pinterest…

  31. April 22, 2012 11:41 am

    Hi there, just wanted to let you know that I passed on the Versatile Blogger Award to you at

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful recipes!

  32. April 22, 2012 1:37 pm

    The aranci looks wonderful and I enjoy your photography!

  33. April 22, 2012 3:44 pm

    I love arancini, and I bake it too instead of frying. love the flavours in this!

  34. April 22, 2012 6:33 pm

    I really like arancini but I hate the hassle of frying them, especially since they end up falling apart no matter how careful I am. If baking yields better results with less hassle, then I’m all for it! The rosemary in them sounds lovely too.

  35. April 22, 2012 9:47 pm

    I really need to try these. We always have risotto as a main dish, so leftovers are hard to come by. I know, just make it from scratch….

  36. April 22, 2012 9:49 pm

    What a great recipe! Risotto is one of my favorite foods, so I’m gonna try this for for sure, it looks delicious

  37. April 22, 2012 10:50 pm

    I’ve tried making these more times than I care to remember, and they’re always disappointing. But…I’ve never tried baking them. These look lovely! Timing is everything. Spring risotto is on the menu for dinner tonight. I’m going to make a little extra and give your method a try. Thank you!

  38. April 23, 2012 1:14 am

    And of course the other nice thing about arancini is that they are a great way to recycle leftover risotto – so much so that I make it my policy always to make extra risotto if I am making it, the better to have arancini a couple of days later.

    Also, arancini from beetroot risotto has to be seen to be believed.

    • April 25, 2012 11:13 pm

      Exactly, Catherine! I shall be doing so from now on! I bet it does, but I hate beets haha.

  39. April 23, 2012 3:34 am

    I love arancini! Yours look delicious!

  40. April 23, 2012 3:39 am

    I need to try to bake my arancini next time. I can’t believe I never thought about that.

  41. April 23, 2012 5:59 am

    I have always wanted to try arancini. This recipe looks like the perfect place to start. Thanks!

  42. April 23, 2012 8:20 am

    The pics looks really good:) Never tried this:) But I will try it, here in the near future:)

  43. April 23, 2012 12:49 pm

    Rosemary and garlic is my favourite combo and I heart arancini, so delighted that they can be baked with apparent success, I’m with Greg I hardly evr have risotto leftovers but will make a mental note to make too much next time and try not to eat it!! I’m making your flapjacks now too…

    • April 25, 2012 11:11 pm

      The success is more than apparent, haha. Please do give it a go! Blimey, thanks for all the support :D. I hope you like them.

  44. April 23, 2012 2:06 pm

    Really lovely recipe and I love that you baked them! I have made risotto balls before and also couldn’t bring myself to deep fry them but I did still fry them! Next time I will definitely bake them! Rosemary and Garlic sounds like a wonderful combination 🙂

  45. April 23, 2012 2:38 pm

    Nothing better than balls : )

  46. April 23, 2012 4:57 pm

    YUMMY! These remind me of my time studying abroad in Italy! I love that you baked them – and I couldn’t agree more that the world could do without another clogged artery 😉

  47. April 23, 2012 7:38 pm

    Another fabulous recipe of yours that I HAVE to try soon! I’m moving this weekend, so after I’ve settled in, arancini with a lovely salad will be on my menu!

  48. April 23, 2012 7:58 pm

    These look so yummy, thanks for sharing!

  49. April 23, 2012 8:34 pm

    I totaly love a good arancini & your version rocks with real flavours,..real delights!

  50. April 23, 2012 10:16 pm

    Baked arancini! Now that’s a revelation, thanks Nick!

  51. April 23, 2012 10:43 pm

    Never heard of that one before. So it’s sort of like a risotto but deep fried in breadcrumbs? I am liking the sound of that! We have just mastered risotto – my son is very good at it (plus it means I don’t have to stand there and add the stock continuously! = win win situation 🙂

    • April 25, 2012 11:07 pm

      That’s it indeed! give it a go – risotto is so great once you’ve mastered it. You’ve got a good deal going on there!

  52. April 24, 2012 4:35 pm

    Is it this post that is supposed to cheer me up? You think talking about balls is supposed to make me happy??? Wait a minute…it’s kind of working. Sort of.

    • April 25, 2012 11:00 pm

      No, I meant the guest post. you’ll see. I thought my balls might cheer you up though… how unfortunately worded.

  53. April 25, 2012 8:39 pm

    Wow, absolutely fantastic! 🙂

  54. April 25, 2012 10:39 pm

    Wow. I really want to go have some of these for dinner now.

  55. April 26, 2012 12:53 am

    I used to LIVE off of these when I was in Southern Italy. Especially in Napoli… these things are too special for words! Often filled with meats & cheeses… Especially in tune with your frugal theme… they’re a great way to stretch risotto into TWO meals if you just make a huge batch one night and use the rest for arancini on another… (which is what I almost always do). Lovely!

    • May 6, 2012 11:38 pm

      Awesome! Sounds like a great way to live. Exactly! I shall be doing that from now on.

  56. April 26, 2012 2:55 am

    Exceptionally delicious, to the point of fatal delirium? Any recipe that garners that kind of description is automatically accelerated to the top of my “must make” list. (My arteries thank you for your oven-baked version, too!)

  57. April 26, 2012 1:16 pm

    WOW That looks great! Great photos of the arancini!

  58. April 27, 2012 2:04 am


  59. April 27, 2012 3:16 pm

    Never tried these before, sounds great!!

  60. April 27, 2012 4:54 pm

    hello! I am here from your wonderful guesting for Cara, just poking around and I love what I see!

    arancini are one of my favorite treats I always order at one of my favorite restaurants. I have visited the notion of making some myself, and wanted to bake them as well. Rosemary is a great addition here, thank you for sharing these, I just may make them yet!

    • May 6, 2012 10:28 pm

      Awesome, so glad you found my little blog. I’ve never seen them on a menu, they are wonderful though.

  61. April 30, 2012 1:49 pm

    Lovely, I am a huge arancini fan but wouldn’t have thought you could get the same effect from baking. Will definitely have to try this, great for leftover risotto

    • May 1, 2012 10:48 pm

      Fantastic. I’d say the effect was perhaps even better. Let me know how it goes!

  62. May 1, 2012 3:22 pm

    Ooh! I love that these are baked. I loooove arancini (and suppli! I used to buy them as random snacks when I lived in Rome).
    I would be scared of frying (not to mention it’s expensive like you point out). Baking is a great idea!

  63. May 3, 2012 11:54 pm

    That looks wonderful! Garlic and Rosemarie go great together!

  64. May 5, 2012 9:38 am

    Looks great, I love risotto so will definitely try this one! And by the way, all your photos are really good too!

  65. May 27, 2012 12:02 pm

    Oh my! I have had Arancini Risotto is one thing I have never tried, but it’s on my list, now it’s on my to-do-this-week list! This one has me craving! Can’t wait to try it! A tip I’ve learned somewhere I can’t remember is to lightly spray a bit of olive oil on things you are baking rather than frying. The amt is so minimal. I bought an olive oil spritzer and it really does make a diff! I use it all the time!

    • May 27, 2012 9:55 pm

      You’ll love these, they are great. Good tip, though I love olive oil too much to spritz it I think 😀 I prefer to glug.

  66. May 29, 2012 7:25 pm

    Reblogged this on creations from la cuineta and commented:
    An inspiration for my next blog!


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