Recipe - Arancine alla genovese (Genoa-style)
Arancine alla genovese (Genoa-style)
Pesto alla genovese is a great classic that today is enjoyed throughout Italy. It is told that, at the time of the seafaring republics, given that Venice had a hegemony over spices, Genoa took it upon itself to specialise in aromatic herbs, one of which was basil. Herein lies the origin of the pesto tradition. In the richest version, which is also the traditional one, pasta with pesto includes potatoes and green beans. That is the variant from which we have drawn our inspiration for these Genoa-style arancine, whose rice is flavoured with pesto and whose filling is made using (what else?) potatoes and green beans.
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Ingredients for about 13 arancine (160 grams)
- 500 grams of rice ("Roma" and "Originario" rices, mixed in equal doses)
- 1.1 liter of vegetable stock
- 2 bags of saffron
- 10 grams of salt
- 60-100 grams of butter
For the finish:
- 100 gr of flour
- 180 ml of water
- 2 eggs
- 150 gr of bread crumbs
- 60 gr of basil
- 1 clove of garlic
- 30 gr of pine nuts
- extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese
For the filling:
- 200 gr of potatoes
- 200 gr of green beans
- 3 tablespoons of pesto
- extra virgin olive oil
- black pepper
Preparation of rice and filling
How to prepare the rice:
- In a saucepan, put the broth, the butter, the saffron and the salt
- When the stock is boiling, add the rice and mix well
- Cover and cook over low heat until the rice absorbs all the broth and is cooked but al dente
- When cooked, add the pesto (leaving aside three spoons for the stuffing), stir, pour the rice on a cold surface and spread evenly to allow rapid cooling
- When the rice is cool down, it is ready to prepare the arancini
It is important to let the rice dry well during cooking. It should not be too hot or too wet, or it could stick to the mold.
- Place the basil leaves, the garlic clove (core removed), pine nuts, grated cheese and a drizzle of olive oil into a food processor. Begin to blend, adding a thin stream of oil until you have obtained a smooth and creamy texture without any lumps
- Boil the potatoes in a generous amount of salted water until they are cooked through (30-40 minutes)
- Remove the tips from the green beans and boil them in a generous amount of salted water for 15 minutes
- Peel the potatoes and chop them into small cubes
- Chop the green beans into small pieces
- Place the potatoes and green beans in a bowl and mix in the pesto you kept aside, along with olive oil, salt and pepper
- Shape the arancini and put in the freezer a couple of hours before passing the arancini in the batter (optional)
How to shape the arancina
The finishing touch
Put the arancini in the batter and in the bread crumbs as follows:
- In a bowl, place the flour
- Add the egg and water and beat well with whips
- When the batter is smooth and dense, pass the arancini
- Immediately after having passed them in the batter, pass the arancini in bread crumbs
- Fry in plenty of oil until golden brown, to ensure your arancini fry up perfectly, use one of the following oils: peanut oil, olive oil, or palm oil.
- Heat the oil to the ideal temperature, 190°C, either in a frying pan or by setting the temperature on your deep fryer.
- If using a pan, you can make sure that the oil has reached the proper temperature by dropping in a bread crumb. If it sizzles, then the oil is ready.
- Immerse the arancini gently in the oil, only a few at a time, so as to prevent the temperature of the oil from falling too low.
- When they are done, place the arancini on absorbent paper, then serve.
Enjoy your meal !
Add some fresh cheese to the filling, for arancine whose centres are even more delicious and wonderfully melting!
The flavour of this pesto pairs beautifully with shrimp, which can be added to the filling for more “chic” arancine.
Pesto and Genoa: an inseparable pair? Almost. In nearby Provence you can try pistou, whose ingredients, like those of pesto (with which it shares its linguistic derivation), include basil, garlic and olive oil (although it lacks the pine nuts and cheese). The fragrance of these blends pervades this beautiful part of Europe that lies between the mountains and the sea. The French word for basil is basilic, which also means “basilisk”. The former bewitches us with its aroma, the latter with its fearsome gaze. Ah, yes, it is much better to dwell on the fragrance and not on the eyes.
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- Arancinotto Staff