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Leftover risotto is fine heated up as is, but why wouldn’t you want an adult version of a cheese stick? Arancini means “little orange.” This version is true to the name as the predominant color of the vegetables is orange.

Traditionally arancini are deep-fried, but I tried a baked version instead. I’ve baked farro “rice” balls before.

Arancini sound much more impressive than they are difficult to make. Start with refrigerated risotto and the rest is a snap.

If you didn’t make the autumn vegetable risotto, use about 1 c roasted autumn vegetables and 1 1/2 c cooked risotto. Refrigerate risotto overnight.

autumn aranciniWhat you need:

  • 2 c leftover autumn vegetable risotto
  • 8 1/2″ chunks of fresh mozzarella or other cheese (I used about 1/4 of a lg ball)
  • 1 c Italian-flavored panko
  • 2 eggs
  • EVOO spray
  • Red sauce, for drizzling (For simplicity, I blended up some San Marzano tomatoes and added some fresh basil, sea salt and black pepper)

 What you do:

  • Heat oven to 350˚.
  • Prepare baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In one sm bowl add panko.
  • Add eggs to another sm bowl and whisk to mix.
  • Using an ice cream scoop or a 1/4 c measuring cup, scoop risotto into your hand.
  • Press into a patty and make a depression in the center.
  • Top with cheese.
  • Cover cheese with risotto, forming a ball.
  • Roll in egg and then in panko.
  • Place arancini on baking sheet.
  • Repeat with remaining 7 balls.
  • Spray with EVOO (I have a mister, but Pam or an alternative is fine).
  • Bake for about 30 min, or until panko turns golden brown.