We took the opportunity to visit our dear cousins, Pietro and Lucia and Lucia’s sister Luisa up north near Trieste, and c.b.m (cousins-by-marriage) Roberta, her family, Fabrizia and her family near Aviano. If you’ve ever heard the stories of our time at Aviano, you’ll quickly know that these kind, generous folks are dear to us.
Cooking in Lucia’s kitchen has always been a treat for me.. She taught me how to make gnocchi way back when, and she was the first person who taught me that crepes weren’t only for sweet fillings, when she made a simple dish out of crepes, speck and fontina cheese, hot and oozing goodness straight from the oven.
Lucia and I have each made aranchini, but we tried a new-to-us method for today’s lunch using the leftover risotto that I made last night…I can tell you that I won’t use the old method, ever again. Using fontina and prosciutto cotto in the middle, these were hands down, some of the best aranchini I’ve ever had: golden and crispy outside, luscious creaminess inside. The beautiful people around me, as well as the other lunch offerings made this simple meal one to remember 💕
- 2-4 c. Leftover rice (risotto with fresh peas)
- 3 slices of Ham, chopped (prosciutto cotto)
- 4-8 1/2 inch chunks of Cheese (fontina or mozzarella)
- 1/2 c Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
- 1 1/2 c breadcrumbs
- 1 c 00 flour (or AP)
- Pinch of Salt
Place breadcrumbs in a wide bowl, set aside; mix flour with enough water to make a paste, just a bit thinner than pancake batter; add salt, set aside. In a large bowl, break up rice and stir in Parmigiano Reggiano; place cheese and ham on a platter near by. With damp hands scoop about 1/3- 1/2 c rice into palm of one hand. Gently press fontina or mozzarella and a few pieces of Ham into the center and place more rice on top, gently packing into ball or traditional teardrop shape, set aside and repeat with remaining rice, cheese and ham. Using whichever size pan you are comfortable with, or if you have one of those Fry-momma, daddy, or baby gizmos get it ready. We used an organic peanut oil, but feel free to use the high-heat oil of your choice. While the oil is heating, dip prepared rice ball in flour-water mixture until well bathed. Shake off excess, then roll in breadcrumbs, set aside and repeat with remaining rice balls. Carefully place 2-3 rice balls in hot oil, cooking until golden, turning as necessary. Remove from oil, place on paper towel-lined platter and repeat until all rice balls are cooked. Ours took about 4-5 minutes per side, and I cooked 3 at a time so as not to crowd these golden beauties.
Love, good food, laughter and kindness 💕 Mangia bene!