The first time I had arancini I was working a food festival selling lobster rolls. I used to work for a certain lobster roll company in New York, and actually it's still one of my favorite jobs I've had. We would go to all sorts of events, build a little lobster roll shack + pass out buttery lobster rolls all night.
But back to the arancini.
So at one of the festivals a little company called Arancini Bros also had a booth. It's common at catering events to barter with the other vendors for food, since you both have really good food to swap! From the moment the event started I knew I wanted one of Arancini Bros perfect arancini because I had never one before. They gave me one on the house, and it started a serious addiction for me.
Arancini are basically like giant stuffed rice balls, but deep-fried. Usually made with leftover risotto, they're creamy on the inside + crispy on the outside. Basically they're real good, and you can stuff them with anything you have on hand too!
Since football season is officially here I have a great excuse to make these arancini all the time because they're football shaped AND rep my favorite New York team's colors, green + white.
In celebration of football season, I've joined a group of bloggers from all over the country to bring you football-inspired recipes. A few weeks ago we shared our favorite tailgating recipes, but now we're sharing 60 recipe ideas for celebrating on game day. You'll find a recipe for all of your teams, so click on the links at the bottom of this post to join in. Go team!
Herb pesto arancini (makes approximately 7-8 large arancini)
- 3 cups fresh basil (+ some mint if desired)
- 1 tablespoon pine nuts
- 2 tablespoons finely-grated parmesan cheese
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 cups Arborio rice
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 large ball of fresh mozzarella, cut into small chunks
- Start by getting the rice going. Cook the rice in 3.5 cups of water mixed with the white wine according to the directions on the package. You can even use a rice cooker if you've got it. Once the rice is done, let it cool. You'll want the rice to be sticky.
- Meanwhile make the pesto. Pulverize the basil, pine nuts, parmesan cheese + garlic clove in a food processor. Drizzle in the olive oil + keep blending until smooth. Set aside.
- Before you assemble, set up your breading stations. Place the flour on one plate, the breadcrumbs on another plate + beat the eggs in another bowl.
- To form each arancini, flatten a palm-sized chunk of rice with your hands. Add 1/4 teaspoon of the pesto + 4 or 5 small chunks of mozzarella into the center. Carefully cover up the pesto + mozzarella, forming the entire thing into a football-shaped ball. Repeat until you have no rice left.
- Toss each rice ball into the flour, then the egg + then breadcrumbs. Repeat with each ball.
- Fry each rice ball in hot olive oil until golden brown. You'll want to have enough olive oil in the pan to do a shallow fry. Drain on a paper towel.
- Serve each aranicini warm with a sprinkle of flaky salt + leftover pesto for dipping.
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GameDay Cheesecake Bars by Body Rebooted
Healthy Dirty Bird Dip by Dash of Herbs
Purple Potato Salad by The Culinary Compass
Chocolate Blackberry Cheesecake Parfait by Mom's Messy Miracles
Easy Buffalo Chicken Sliders by Beer Girl Cooks
Quick and Easy Baked Buffalo Chicken Sliders by The Life Jolie
Blackened Steak + Blue Cheese Nachos by Feast + West
Easy pimiento cheese crackers by Family Food on the Table
Chicago-Style Deep Dish Breadsticks by Honey & Birch
Italian Beef by Bread Booze Bacon
Welcome to the Jungle Cocktail by Love & Flour
Bengal Striped Bundt Cake by Foodtastic Mom
Polish Boy Potato Skins by A Mind Full Mom
Sweet and Salty Brownies by The Secret Ingredient Is
Cowboy Cookies by The BakerMama
Cowboy Chili by See Aimee Cook
Green Chili Pulled Pork Cheese Fries by Cake 'n Knife
Blue and Orange Jello Shot Gummies by Sustaining the Powers
Greek Town Loaded Potato Skins by The Mexitalian
Marbled Scotcharoos by Club Narwhal
Beer Cheese Fondue by Off the Eaten Path
Easy Beer Cheese Soup by Hello Little Home
Chicken Stack Sandwich by Around My Family Table
Spicy Pub Mustard by What A Girl Eats
Game Day Cupcakes by Polka Dotted Blue Jay
Brownie Batter Dip by The Crumby Cupcake
Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes by Two Places at Once
Spicy Jalapeno Popper Cheese Dip with Real Cheese by Simplify, Live, Love
Game Day Snack Tray by Coffee Love Travel
Bacon Mac n Cheese Cups by West via Midwest
South Beach Punch by 2 Cookin Mamas
Miami Mahi Mahi Sandwich by foodbyjonister
Swedish Meatball Dip with Tater Tot Dunkers by Peanut Blossom
Fruity Dessert Pizza with Peanut Butter Chocolate Glaze by Bucket List Tummy
New England Rum Punch by Order in the Kitchen
Crawfish Etouffee by The Speckled Palate
Cajun Crawfish and Corn Fritters with Remoulade Dipping Sauce by For the Love of Food
Reuben Sliders with Homemade Russian Dressing by A Dish of Daily Life
Big Blue Cheese Steak Stromboli by Simple and Savory
Spinach & Artichoke Bites by Lauren's Kitchen
Herb Pesto Arancini by A Little Gathering
Beluga Lentil Hummus by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Philly Cheesesteak Nachos by And She Cooks
Philly Cheesesteak Cheesecake by Nik Snacks
Game Day Cookie Cups by Me and My Pink Mixer
Primanti Style Sliders by Macheesmo
Pineapple Salsa by Living Well Kitchen
Tex Mex Cream Cheese Wontons with Bacon by Shaws Simple Swaps
Blue Cheese Blitz Dip by Cafe Terra
Chicken Adobo Fries by Brunch-n-Bites
Game Day Candy Bark by Life's Ambrosia
Chicken Teriyaki Pizza (aka Seattle SeaChicken TeriHawki Pizza) by Loves Food, Loves to Eat
High Seas Sour Cherry Slush by Lizzy is Dizzy
Buffalo Chicken Deviled Eggs by Casa de Crews
Avery Williamson American Cake by Loaves & Dishes
Game Day Sriracha-Honey Nut Mix by An Oregon Cottage
Double-Stuffed Potato Skins by A Simpler Grace
Red Skin Potato Chili Nachos by A Joyfully Mad Kitchen
Note: This post is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by the National Football League (NFL) or any of its teams. All opinions and views expressed on our blogs are our own, not that of the NFL and/or any of its 32 teams. Any team names, logos or other symbols referenced are properties of their respective organizations. We are just big fans — and we want to share our love for our teams, the game and the food that brings us all together on game day.