We love arancini, those golden, fried balls of rice originating in Sicily. Some are filled -- with meat, cheese, and/or vegetables. Some are made from leftover risotto (if you can ever manage to have any risotto leftover!). Some just consist of saucy rice that has been breaded and fried. The insides are red with tomato sauce when they're served in Spain, yellow with saffron when they're served in Arabic countries. They can be baked, but they taste better fried (what doesn't?). Arancini can be whatever you want them to be.
In the "fritter" or "croquette" family, arancini got their name from the Italian word for "orange," based on how they look. But the arancini we tend to buy, from D&D Market in the Little Italy section of Hartford, are cone-shaped. And yes, we said buy. The truth is, some things are best left to the experts. We've attempted arancini at home, using leftover risotto. It just didn't cut it, and left us unsatisfied. Besides being an amazing Italian market, D&D makes some tasty arancini.
Chris stopped by D&D on his way home Friday night. Along with the other goodies he purchased (provolone, parmegiano reggiano, fresh mozzarella, speck), he bought two arancini. We heated them and served them over marinara for simple, rustic dinner which we enjoyed on our back deck. With a little chianti, it was like a summer evening in Tuscany. Mangia!