Mushroom Arancini with Roasted Red Peppers

The marriage of simple ingredients is a culinary skill that the Italians have pretty much mastered. In this easy-to-follow recipe for arancini from Chef Marisa Iocco, aromatics, rustic flavors and sharp cheeses come together to form delightful spheres of creamy rice encased in a crispy layer of breadcrumbs. This versatile dish, which pairs nicely with a rich glass of Barbaresco, is perfect for a cozy night on the couch or for your next dinner party (Hint: make the risotto the day before so you can spend more time with your guests).


Servings: 4


  • 2 cups Arborio or Carnaroli rice
  • 2 tablespoons yellow onions, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 ounces wild mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 cup parmigiano cheese, grated
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 12 cups of water or vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup of dry white wine
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 eggs, beaten to blend
  • 2 cups bread crumbs (panko works well)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups of frying oil (safflower or vegetable oil is best)
  • 12 ounces sharp Provolone cheese, cut in small wedges
  • 4 medium size red bell peppers
  • 1 cup fresh basil, chopped


For the peppers:
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Roast peppers on a sheet pan until the skin separates from the pulp, about 45 minutes.
  3. Remove peppers from the oven and place in a paper bag until cooled.
  4. Once cooled, remove the stem and seeds from the peppers and julienne.
  5. In a mixing bowl, add peppers, salt, pepper, basil and extra virgin olive oil and gently toss.
For the risotto:
  1. Sauté mushrooms, garlic and onions in extra virgin olive oil for five minutes.
  2. Add parsley and rice; stir until rice is almost brown.
  3. Add white wine while stirring and reduce until incorporated.
  4. Add broth or water slowly until the risotto is cooked through, about 22 minutes.
  5. Fold in salt and pepper, grated parmigiano and butter for one minute.
  6. Take pan off heat and let the risotto cool for three hours. Refrigerate, sealed overnight if necessary.
For the arancini:
  1. Heat frying oil to 325.
  2. Prepare bowls of flour and bread crumbs for dredging risotto balls.
  3. Whisk eggs in a bowl until incorporated.
  4. With wet hands, form risotto into spheres, about the size of a golf ball.
  5. Roll the balls into flour, egg and breadcrumbs in this order, making sure to coat entirely.
  6. Working in batches, fry the rice balls until golden brown.
  7. Remove balls with a slotted spoon and transfer to paper towels to drain.
  8. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Let rest for two minutes, serve hot (arancini can be reheated at 350 degrees if necessary).
  10. Serve with wedges of provolone and roasted red peppers.

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