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SAFFRON RISOTTO

Ingredients:

Allow 2 cups of Italian Arborio rice for 4 people

1l of chicken stock (or use a good soup cube )  

½  a medium- sized glass of white wine 

A nob  of butter

1 small finely chopped onion

Grated  parmesan cheese

A pinch of saffron

Preparation:

In a fairly large saucepan put a big nob of butter and the finely chopped onion

Let the onion turn a pale golden colour –not brown – add the rice .

Stir the rice until it is well impregnated with the butter.

Now pour in the white wine and keep stirring it on a moderate flame until the wine has been absorbed.

Start to add in the stock , about a tea cup at a time., stirring all the time. (Keep the stock lightly simmering in another pan.)

As it absorbs add more stock.

It should take approx. 20-30 minutes – it depends how you like your rice. In Italy we like it “al dente” – but you may prefer softer rice.

( A useful hint from Mirella – use a wooden spoon rather than a metal one as it doesn’t break the rice grains )

When the risotto is a creamy mixture, not sticky add in the saffron.

Now add in another nob of butter and the grated Parmesan cheese.

Serve the Saffron Risotto as soon as the cheese and butter have melted.

NOW FOR THE STUFFED RICE BALLS !“ Arancini”

Ingredients:

The left over saffron risotto

Saffron Risotto is practically Milan’s National dish!

1 egg ( depending on how much risotto you have left but generally 1 egg is enough

A  couple of tea spoons of grated Parmesan cheese

Breadcrumbs.

Mozzarella cheese

Cut into cubes .

Extra  Virgin Olive Oil for frying ( A hint from Zia  Mirella –  use olive oil not cooking oil)

 Preparation:

Mix all the ingredients (except the mozzarella ) into a smooth mixture.

Take a couple of large spoonfuls of the mixture and roll into slightly flattened balls ,

 Press into the middle a piece of the Mozzarella and coat with breadcrumbs.

Fry the rice balls in hot oil.

( Another hint from Mirella –you can fry these the day before and then heat them up later)

These can also be served as a first course.

Kids and adults love them!