Recipe: Arancini di Riso al Ragù (Saffron Arancini With Ragù)

December 28, 2014 1:00 pm Last Updated: January 5, 2015 1:01 am

Recipe courtesy of Chef Carlo Cracco

Yield: 4 servings

For the Saffron Risotto:
240 grams carnaroli rice
40 grams butter
1 shallot, finely chopped
1/2 cup white wine
1 1/2 liters water, for broth
120 grams grated cheese
2 grams ground saffron
Salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the Ragù:
500 grams pork
20 grams celery, finely chopped
20 grams onions, finely chopped
20 grams carrots, finely chopped
20 grams butter
½ cup red wine
1 clove garlic
1 Bay leaf
1 pinch nutmeg
1 kilogram peeled tomatoes
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the Arancini:
2 eggs, beaten
breadcrumbs
5 mozzarella di Bufala, cubed
canola oil

To prepare the saffron risotto:
Place a deep-sided sauté pan on the stove over medium heat and add the butter with the finely chopped shallot. Cook the shallot until it is translucent and then add the rice. Toast the rice slightly and add the white wine. Let the rice simmer until the wine has evaporated.

Add the saffron and gradually add in the hot broth. Continue cooking for about 15–17 minutes then remove the sauté pan from the heat and let it sit for a moment. Mix in the cheese and the remaining butter and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside and allow it to reach room temperature.

To prepare the ragù:
Place a sauté pan over high heat and add the olive oil, garlic, and meat. When the meat begins to brown, add the red wine and simmer until it has evaporated. Once the meat is cooked through, remove the pan from the heat, drain the meat and set it aside.

In another sauté pan, cook the minced celery, carrots, and onion in the butter over medium heat. Once the butter has melted and the vegetables are translucent, add the bay leaf, nutmeg, and the cooked meat. Continue mixing and add the peeled tomatoes and the meat jus, turn the heat down to low, and cook for at least 1 1/2 hours. Remove from the heat and allow the ragù to reach room temperature.

To prepare the arancini:
Add the saffron rice to the ragù and with your hands, form rounds out of the rice and ragù mixture. Insert a cube of mozzarella in the center of each ball and shape them into pear shaped spheres.

Beat the eggs in a wide bowl and spread the breadcrumbs on a plate. Pass the arancini first in the egg bowl, coating them completely, and then in the breadcrumbs, pressing lightly so they adhere. Carefully place the breaded arancini in a sauté pan filled with canola oil and fry. Serve hot.

This dish was presented at Identitá Golose last fall at Eataly in New York City.