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Arancini Recipe Archer Hotel Austin

The Recipe

Arancini — a staple Sicilian recipe of Italian rice balls (stuffed with an array of fillings — this version is vegetarian), from of our friends at Archer Hotel Austin. 


  • 1 pound Arborio rice
  • 1 each bay leaf
  • 1 each whole clove
  • 1/4 pound (1 stick) butter, cubed and chilled
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup minced shallot
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 tablespoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups grated pecorino Romano
  • 1 gallon vegetable stock or water
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 cups flour
  • 6 each beaten eggs
  • 4 cups breadcrumbs
Pecorino fonduta
  • 2 ounces white wine
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup grated pecorino Romano
  • 12 each Calabrese peppers
  • 1 bunch basil
  • 1/2 cup grated pecorino Romano


  1. Bring water or stock to a rolling boil and lightly season with 3 tablespoons of salt.

  2. In a large, shallow sauté pan (steep sides preferred), sweat shallot, clove, bay leaf, half stick of butter and oil on medium heat. Sweat until translucent, being careful not to brown the shallot. Reserve the remaining butter.

  3. Add in rice and toast, making sure to stir every minute or two, until a nutty aroma is achieved, about 5 minutes.

  4. Deglaze the pan with white wine.

  5. Add in 1 quart of boiling water or stock — enough to cover the rice by 1 inch. Slowly stir with a wooden spoon and bring to a simmer, constantly stirring.

  6. Once the first batch of water or stock is almost absorbed and there seems to be no residual stock left in the pan, add in more water or stock, 1 ½ cups at a time. Make sure to keep stirring the rice vigorously until all liquid is almost absorbed.

  7. Repeat step 6 until rice is cooked through. Take pan off the heat.

  8. While rice is still hot, stir in the remaining butter, pecorino Romano and black pepper. Stir until incorporated.

  9. Season with salt to taste.

  10. Spread risotto in thin layers of a baking sheet and cool. Spreading it thin will help prevent overcooking.

  11. Once cooled, roll risotto into balls about the diameter of a quarter.

  12. Once all risotto has been rolled, dredge the balls. First, toss 5 – 6 balls in flour. Transfer to beaten egg mixture and coat. Transfer to breadcrumbs and coat evenly. Repeat the process until all risotto balls are breaded.

  13. Preheat a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven, or any pot that can hold 5 inches of vegetable oil, for deep-frying. Heat oil to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

  14. Once oil is hot, carefully place 5 – 6 risotto balls into the oil and deep-fry until golden brown.

  15. Place balls on a wire rack with paper towels underneath to drain. Season with salt.

  16. Wait 5 minutes before eating, as they will be hot.

  17. In a small saucepan, reduce wine until the pan is almost dry.

  18. Whisk in the heavy cream and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes.

  19. Take off the heat and add the cheese. Let steep for 1 hour.

  20. After 1 hour, blend the mixture in a blender or with a hand mixer until smooth.

  21. After your Arancini and Fonduta are made, place 5 – 6 in a bowl.

  22. Drizzle over the Fonduta or serve on the side as a dip.

  23. Sprinkle pecorino on top and garnish with Calabrese peppers and basil. Calabrese peppers pack quite the punch, so approach with caution if you are timid to spice.

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