Get Good and Gooey for the Super Bowl - Cheese and Sausage Arancini with Spicy Marinara

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Cheese and Sausage Arancini with Spicy Marinara

The Super Bowl is here again, and win or lose, it’s always a rowdy blast. Whether you’re a serious fan or just in it for the fun, this rambunctious annual rite is as much about the goodies as it is the game. Now is not the time for delicacy — you’ll be eating with your hands and shouting at the ref with your mouth full. So bring on the messy, goes-great-with-beer food, the gooey, saucy fried things that wreck your New Year’s resolutions with glee.

While wings and ribs are the usual go-tos, there are other deliciously sloppy ways to get your snack on. Take these arancini — great little rice balls that are dotted with sausage and stuffed with cheese, then deep-fried and doused with a spicy tomato sauce. The perfect two-bite delight, they’re especially good for game day as most of the prep is done a day or more ahead. Once the gang is gathered, you’ll be ready to pop in the arancini, splash on the sauce, tuck a napkin in your jersey and yell “NO WAY!!!” with tomato sauce on your chin.

 Cheese and Sausage Arancini with Spicy Marinara 2

Cheese and Sausage Arancini with Spicy Marinara
  • For the rice:
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 1 pound Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil + extra for the baking sheet
  • 1 cup finely diced onion
  • 2 cups arborio or Cal-Rose rice
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 tablespoons Kerrygold Unsalted Butter
  • 1 cup finely grated Kerrygold Dubliner Cheese
  • Salt to taste
  • For the arancini:
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 4 oz Kerrygold Dubliner Cheese cut into ½" cubes
  • 2 cups fine, dry bread crumbs
  • 3 cups of your favorite marinara or other tomato sauce, homemade or store bought
  • Crushed chili flakes to taste, for the marinara
  • ½ cup (or more) coarsely grated Kerrygold Dubliner Cheese

For the rice:

Brush a rimmed baking sheet generously with olive oil and set aside.

Heat broth and keep warm over low flame.

In a deep, heavy-bottomed saucepan heat olive oil over medium flame.  Add sausage, breaking into small bits, cooking until golden brown, about 6-8 minutes.  Remove sausage with slotted spoon, set aside, leaving the oil and sausage fat in the pan.  Add onion to pan and sweat until translucent, stirring occasionally.  Add rice and stir until the grains are well-coated, about 3 minutes.  Add wine, stirring over medium heat until liquid is almost completely absorbed.  Lower flame to medium low and carefully add the broth.  Stir briefly, and then let cook until rice is al dente (18-20 minutes), stirring once or twice during that time; the rice grains should tender but still firm.

Remove rice from heat, add the sausage and the cheese, stirring to incorporate thoroughly.  Salt to taste

Spread rice in ½” layer on baking sheet and let cool to room temperature.  Once cool, cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate from 2 to 24 hours

To form arancini: This portion may be done up to one day ahead

Moisten your palms with cold water (keep a bowl of it next to you)

Roll a very heaping tablespoon of the rice mixture into a ball

Poke a hole in the center of the ball and push a cube of cheese into the hole

Close the hole with a bit more rice

Roll the ball until it is uniformly round, place on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Continue until all the rice and cheese cubes are used

Roll the balls in the bread crumbs, tossing well to coat completely (If doing ahead, cover well with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Bring to back to room temperature before frying)

Put oil in a Dutch oven or deep, heavy bottomed pan to heat to 375 degrees F (use candy thermometer). Put the marinara sauce on to warm.  Drain on paper towels, sprinkle with seasoning to taste with the chili flakes. Working in small batches, fry the arancini until golden brown, about 3 – 5 minutes.  Let arancini cool for a couple of minutes.  Serve arancini hot, in a pool warmed marinara (drizzle some over the top of the arancini as well).  Sprinkle with grated Dubliner Cheese, eat immediately with your fingers.


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