Brown Rice Arancini with Chunky Tomato Sauce
Arancini is traditionally made with arborio, which is a white rice. Brown rice is so much healthier and has a wonderful al dente texture that feels more satisfying as a meal solution. Forming the Arancini around a cube of fresh mozzarella provides your family with a nice melty surprise in the center. This recipe is especially delicious when served with the chunky tomato sauce recipe below. The nuttiness of the brown rice, gooey goodness of the melted mozzarella, and the ripe freshness of the chunky tomato sauce make for a combination that’s both wildly delicious, and comforting all at once!
For the Arancini:
2 cups cooked brown rice, cooled
3/4 cup grated Parmesan, packed
1/4 cup parsley
3 eggs beaten: two in one bowl, one in another
4 small ¾ inch cubes fresh mozzarella
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
Oil, for frying
3 cups chunky tomato sauce
- Combine the rice, cheese, and parsley in a medium bowl with 2 of the beaten eggs.
- Mix vigorously together with a wooden spoon until the rice mixture gets a little stick and can just hold together when you form a ball.
- Divide the mixture into four equal portions and work each portion into the shape of a patty that fits your hand.
- Place a cube of mozzarella into the center of each patty, then surround the cube with the mixture. Press to form a ball.
- Roll each ball into the remaining beaten egg, then roll in the panko bread crumbs
- Fry in 350-degree canola oil for 8 to 9 minutes until very nicely browned. Remove to a cookie sheet lines with a clean towel to drain.
- While frying, bring the soup and cherry tomatoes to a simmer over medium heat and cook to slightly thickened – about 8 minutes.
- Serve over the chunky tomato sauce, and garnish with freshly grated romano or parmesan cheese if you like..
Chunky Tomato Sauce
Most people think of tomato sauce as something you have to cook for hours to be tasty. Not here! When you use a good tomato soup as a base, like Wholesome Crave’s Tomato Basil Soup, you get the benefit of the long-cooked flavor of a high-quality tomato sauce. I like to add a layer of fresh tomato flavor and texture with a quick, flavorful sauté. Even though the soup had a wonderful basil flavor you can add your favorite her for extra complexity. Basil loves to be paired with parsley, sage, and oregano. This sauce can be used for any good pasta or casserole.
2 tsp Olive oil
1 cup diced onion
1/2 tsp chopped garlic
8 ounces sliced, colorful, cherry tomatoes (large diced large tomato)
2 cups Wholesome Crave tomato basil soup, simmered for ten minutes
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
Salt and pepper
- Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add the oil, onions, and garlic and sauté about two to three minutes or until softened and fragrant.
- Add the soup, reduce the heat, and bring to a simmer.
- Stir-in the fresh herbs, and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
TIP: If you would like your sauce to have some “zing,” add a pinch of red-pepper flakes when sautéing the onions and garlic.
Photo by Courtney Nischan.