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There are so many ingredients to add when making arancine. You can make them the traditional way.

Raising a family needs planning ahead and changing strategies of how we do things.

I recently visited my friend Rose Farfalla, and together we talked about how there is always a difference, when one member of the family likes one ingredient and the one wants another ingredient. How to make them happy, and create a harmony where the whole family is happy. Well that takes years of practice we don't all have the expertise and knowledge at the start its about experience.

I love to share what I know and how to assist in making life easier.

Ingredients:

500 grams of Arborio rice

500 grams of diced mozzarella

3 cups of parmesan cheese

1 cup of all purpose flour

1/2 grated onion

2 tablespoons of butter

canola oil for frying

1/4 cup of virgin olive oil

1/2 diced pumpkin

saffron

sea salt & pepper

2 packets 500 grams of Panko Breadcrumbs

Method:

Cook rice until its 3/4 cooked, I like to make the risotto way, adding water to the rice cooking it slowly, it makes the rice more cluggy, and aids in the process of making great arancine, in a pan, slowly saute 1/2 of a diced onion, you can grate the onion if the children are conscious with this ingredient, in 2 tablespoons of butter and 1/4 cup of virgin olive oil. When the onion is golden add in the rice and stir it around, once it is sealed adding water slowly to allow it to absorb, 500 ml at a time, adding water or stock as you go, up to you. Add saffron to colour the rice and make it look appetising, remember we love to eat with our eyes first! this process will take around 25 minutes, once the rice is 3/4 cooked you then put it in a tray and allow it to cool down.

You can dice 1/4 of a pumpkin with 1 cup of peas, and a red onion and cook them in the oven until they are ready, it will take around 1/2 an hour.

When the rice is cooled down you can add the ingredients, and mix well, your children can help you with this process as you will need beautiful little hands to help you with this, communicating and laughing while you cook makes wonderful memories that last a lifetime.

You can add so many ingredients, not just pumpkin and peas, you can add left over bolognese sauce, make mashed broccoli, and make green arancine. So many delicious ingredients to enjoy.

Make up a paste of flour, in a ceramic bowl enough to coat the arancine in, make it loose, add salt and pepper, use a whisk to beat it up, that way when you have rolled the arancine in a ball in your hands you place it in the flour and then in breadcrumbs. Heres the secret! place a piece of diced mozzarella in the centre of the arancine and then roll, when you fry them, they will be so stringy with cheese it will just open up your tastebuds.

Remember use those little hands to make mini arancine, the children can help you to make them, you can use one child to roll them, one to put them in the flour paste and one to roll them in the breadcrumbs. Happiness in making simple things, is contagious your children will enjoy this process and it creates in them a new mindset for cooking.

The flour mix, makes it crunchy, this is Cucina Povera at its best you don't need to add eggs, you make do with what you have!

You can even add nutella (instead of mozzarella) in the centre it is awesome!

You can shallow fry them in using canola oil it needs an oil that will not saturate them. Canola oil is great for frying. You can even cook them in the oven if you are conscious about healthy eating.

Arancine can be made in different ways with the traditional bolognese sauce, grated boiled eggs, and mozzarella cheese, you can stuff them with different kinds of cheeses.

When my children where little I used to put bran, and oats in them, to assist their little bodies, and their wellbeing.

A little history about Arancine, they are part of the Arab influence in Sicily, the saffron, rice, and meat was part of their staple diet, this was the bread of life in those days, they where made in the shape of an orange, thus derived from the name arancio, made to look like the colour as well with the deep saffron. In some parts of Sicily they are made to look like a pear shape mainly in Catania, to look like Mt. Etna. History teaches us about food, it amazes me all the time, the more I learn the more I love history.

Rose Farfalla is a Mother, HappinessFirst Counsellor, Author, Business Change Leader, Speaker & Coach her passion is helping blended families. Check her website for more information www.rosefarfalla.com.au


See you in my kitchen. Carmela x

Carmela D’Amore

Carmela D’Amore

Carmela D’Amore is an International Sicilian chef, the daughter and granddaughter of Sicilian migrants, with over 45 years of experience in the hospitality industry. Ambassador to Sicilian food and culture, a published International author of over 3 books, currently the executive chef of Sorrento Trattoria, an Italian Restaurant situated in Sorrento on the Mornington Peninsula.