Asparagus Arancini Recipe

Sicily is the birthplace of a wonderful invention called the arancino (or plural: arancini). Deep-fried carby finger food, what’s not to love? These rice balls are traditionally stuffed with meat, but in this version they have a mixture of asparagus, ham and cheese in their core.

Deep fry them (in a frying pan or air fryer) in batches of 4 or 5 balls at a time. Toss them gently over while frying. This will ensure even cooking and a nice, golden brown hue. Let the asparagus arancini drain on paper towel and cool off a little bit before you let your guests dig in (we know they can’t wait).

Serve this delicious starter as an aperitivo with a Sicilian white wine, such as the Scio Bianco. Its refreshing acidity will cleanse the palate in between sips.

Asparagus Arancini Recipe

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Recipe by WineCollective Course: AppetizersCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Difficult
Cook Mode

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Servings

4-6

servings
Prep time

40

minutes
Cooking time

15

minutes

Sicily is the birthplace of a wonderful invention called the arancino (or plural: arancini). Deep-fried carby finger food, what’s not to love? These rice balls are traditionally stuffed with meat, but in this version they have a mixture of asparagus, ham and cheese in their core.

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped

  • 60 g butter

  • 400 g Arborio rice

  • 1 l chicken or vegetable stock

  • 100 g Parmigiano Reggiano, grated

  • 2 eggs

  • 100 g breadcrumbs

  • 150 g fresh asparagus, cleaned and finely sliced

  • 1 thick slice of cooked ham, small diced (leave out for a vegetarian version)

  • 100 g firm mozzarella, small-diced

Directions

  • Melt the butter in a heavy frying pan and brown the onion for a few minutes. Mix in the rice and stir until all grains are glistening and the rice is slightly toasted. Add the wine and the broth in small pours: Stir until all liquid is absorbed before adding a new pour, until the rice is creamy, but still ‘al dente’ (you might have to add less broth). Add the Parmigiano and season with salt and pepper to taste. Spread out the rice on a plate and let it cool fully.
  • In the meantime, fry the asparagus in a little olive oil for around 10 minutes. Let it cool and add the ham and cheese cubes. This is your filling!
  • Wet your hands, and form rice balls the size of peaches. With your index finger, poke a hole to the core, add a spoonful of filling and close the ball tightly again.
  • Crack the eggs in a bowl and lightly beat them. Fill another bowl with breadcrumbs. Dip each ball in the egg, then roll it in breadcrumbs to form an equal coating.
  • Heat a good amount of vegetable oil in a deep-fryer (or air-fryer) or frying pan (the balls need to be submerged). Deep fry the arancini for about 5 minutes, until they are golden brown (don’t overcrowd the frying pan, but fry in batches of 4 or 5 arancini at a time). Add them to a plate lined with paper towels to drain off excess oil. Serve the arancini while hot.

Wine Pairings

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Want to explore more of what Italy has to offer? This recipe is one of four amazing dishes that highlight some of our favourite dishes and wines from the region. The sformato di spinaci is the next recipe on our list, what about you?

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