On a recent trip to Bali I was lucky enough to try one of the island’s hottest new restaurants – Seminyak Italian Food. One of the dishes I drooled over during my feast was the arancini balls – they’re stuffed with spinach and four different types of Italian cheese. Seminyak Italian Food is the latest venture from Robert Marchetti. Marchetti, the Australian restauranteur behind a few of Australia’s iconic Italian restaurants, has set a new standard for authentic Italian food in Bali.
The arancini balls were so delizioso that I had to know how to make them at home. Luckily the team at Seminyak Italian Food shared their recipe with me – and now it’s here for you to enjoy.
- 200g aborio rice
- 400ml chicken stock
- 80ml white wine
- 40g feta, grated
- 40g grana padano, grated
- 40g asiatico, grated
- 20g gorgonzola, grated
- 1/4 large onion, finely diced
- 5g butter
- 20ml extra virgin olive oil
- Fresh lemon wedges
- A dusting of seasoned flour
- 1 egg wash (a few whole eggs, whisked)
- 1 bowl of fine breadcrumbs
- 1 bunch English spinach
- 1 & 1/2 eshallots (shallots) thinly sliced longways
- 40g butter
Step one – prepare the braised spinach
- Slice the spinach across the bunch into 1cm wide strips. Then rinse well.
- Blanch the spinach in salted boiling water for 3 minutes.
- Plunge into ice water and drain well.
- Sweat the eshallots in butter in a large pot until transparent.
- Add the drained spinach, heat and season. Then blend in a processor and allow to cool.
Step two – make the arancini
- Add a little butter and extra virgin olive oil to a pan and then sweat the onion until it’s transparent.
- Add the aborio rice and sweat gently, stirring constantly, until the rice appears slightly transparent.
- Add the white wine and reduce by two thirds.
- Add the chicken stock gradually, stirring regularly, being careful nt to overlook the rice.
- When rice is cooked al dente remove from the heat and add the cheese.
- Adjust the seasoning and then add the puréed braised spinach to the rice mixture.
- Spread the mixture on a flat try’s and refrigerate. Once the mixture has set in the fridge then roll it into even sized balls (golf ball sized is a good guide).
Step three – crumb and cook
- Lightly dust each ball in the seasoned flour, then the egg wash and finally the breadcrumbs.
- Fry the arancini until golden brown on the outside and hot inside. (You can deep fry or shallow fry – just drain the balls on a paper towel after cooking to remove excess oil).
Step four – enjoy!
Serve the arancini balls hot with fresh lemon wedges and perhaps a green salad.
And here are my tips to boost the health credentials of these yummy balls and to justify feasting on more of them!
- Use home-made chicken stock (see my recipe here).
- Spray or brush the balls with olive oil or even coconut oil and cook in the oven at 180C for around 20 minutes as an alternative to frying.
- Where possible use organic eggs and organic butter.
- Make your own home-made breadcrumbs using day old sourdough bread.
- Use spelt flour in place of standard flour (see more on the benefits of spelt here).
By Feast Wisely
- Seminyak Italian Food
- No. 66, Double Six Beach, Seminyak, Bali, Indonesia
- Book online or by phone
- Visit: seminyak-italian.com
- Phone: +62 (0) 361 734 300
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- Italian meatballs, Cafe Sopra style
- Marinated olives in garlic, herbs & spices
- Seminyak Italian Food, Bali