Crisp on the outside and gooey with buffalo mozzarella cheese in the middle. This Courgette and Pancetta Arancini is a real treat for brunch! You can start prepping it the night before, so you can get it in your stomach quicker in the morning.
It feels like in recent times here, since the birth of Milo, everything’s just go-go-go and all about the quick and convenient. And I get it – there’s only so much time in the day and there’s a lot to do (one little baby seems to have the ability to produce up to 3 loads of laundry in just 12 hours!). But sometimes I need to just slow it all down and breathe…my dream would be to just hand Milo over to Jonathan, then duck into the kitchen for a couple of hours.
So I’ve tried this, but by the time I pop back out, Jonathan is often covered in baby spit-up and his arms and back are sore from carrying, rocking, and playing with the baby. Milo has yet to show us that he likes any bit of alone time, so these days, he is usually wrapped up in one of our arms, or we are crawling around on his play may trying to encourage him to get active in some sort of way.
For the most part, he just lays there and gets a bit frustrated that he can’t move. Of course, being as much of a baby chunk as he is, I definitely understand his plight!
So while the reality is I can’t spent a lot of time in the kitchen these days, I am still posting this Courgette and Pancetta Arancini recipe I developed when I was pregnant and had the time, and craved something tasty. This recipe does take some time, but it is well worth the effort, so consider this a tribute to slowing things down in life!
To reiterate, this Courgette and Pancetta Arancini recipe is not a go-go-go type of recipe, as there are several time-consuming steps. It’s not difficult, but you’ll need to work through it a bit methodically (cook the risotto, cool the risotto, roll the risotto into balls, coat the risotto balls in cornmeal, and deep fry each one).
If you plan ahead, you can make a double batch of the risotto the night before, enjoy half of it for dinner, and save the other half to make them into arancinis the next morning for brunch.
To save on time in the mornings, you can also roll the risottos into balls the night before, and store them in the refrigerator. In the morning, you’ll just have to coat them in cornmeal and deep fry them.
If my memory serves, the biggest challenge to this recipe is slowing down a bit to eat this Courgette and Pancetta Arancini .. :) But no worries, they are best served hot, since the buffalo mozzarella in the middle will be perfectly gooey and stretchy.
Courgette and Pancetta AranciniPrint Recipe
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (15 milliliters)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (42 grams)
- 1/2 cup diced pancetta (75 grams) - diced into about 1-cm pieces
- 1 medium zucchini - grated
- 1 medium shallot - finely diced
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 1 pinch coarse ground black pepper
- 2 cups chicken stock (480 milliliters)
- 1/2 cup risotto rice (110 grams) - I used carnaroli rice
- 1 big handful grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 large ball buffalo mozzarella (150 grams) - cut into six cubes
- fine cornmeal (for dusting)
- sunflower oil (or another neutral oil) (for frying)
- Gently heat the butter and olive oil in a skillet. Add the pancetta, zucchini, diced shallot, salt and pepper. Stirring frequently, cook until the shallots just turn translucent.
- Add the rice and cook, stirring frequently, over low heat, for about 5 minutes. The rice should be coated and shiny, the pancetta should be cooked through, but the vegetables must not turn brown.
- Add the chicken stock about 1/4 cup at a time, making sure the rice is always covered, over the course of about 15- 20 minutes. Stir periodically, so the rice does not burn to the bottom of the pan.
- When the rice is fully cooked, mix in the Parmesan. Add more salt and pepper if desired.
- Spread the rice onto a flat plate or tray to cool. Once the rice is cooled, roll into 6 evenly sized 1-1/2 inch balls with the mozzarella tucked in the middle.
- Heat a deep-fryer to 375°F / 190°C. Pour some cornmeal onto a plate. Roll each risotto ball in the cornmeal. Carefully deep-fry each arancini until golden brown. Transfer out with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel.
- Serve immediately.