A number of years ago I met a crazy Irish-Italian American guy from San Francisco who ultimately became my roommate. He loved food. He still loves food. One night we went out to dinner and he introduced me to Arancini. I’m not sure if I loved the creamy rice of the inside or the crunch of the outside but I always remembered them.
Despite my mashed potato and grilled cheese cravings the other day….I do recognize that it is July. So, when I was thinking about these Arancini, I did not want to use Arborio rice to make them. Lucky for me our local market had spaghetti squash.
Spaghetti squash is so easy to make, albeit a little time consuming to prep if you don’t have good knives. We don’t have that problem. So one solid slice down the center and I was good to go. Once the squash is sliced in half you need to scoop out the seeds as you would an acorn squash.
Before I put the squash in the oven I brushed the insides with olive oil. Then I baked the squash at about 375 for 45 minutes. When it came out I let it cool for about ten minutes before I scraped the insides with a fork. I scraped the squash the short way to give me shorter strands.
Knowing I wanted to make arancini I needed a few more things to go in the balls. I opted for goats cheese, panko, thyme and pumpkin seeds.
Rather than coat the outside of the ball with the panko I decided to take all of the ingredients and mold them into the balls. The squash was still quite warm so it absorbed all of the cheese and panko.
Once the balls were shaped I popped them in the freezer for about ten minutes to solidify.
If you have been following our blog you will know that we recently purchased a countertop deep fryer. We do not use it often but…this was a perfect opportunity to try it out again.
The balls went in for about three-four minutes until crispy and golden brown at which point we placed them on paper towels to cool down.
We wanted to use these for dinner so we made this two ways. One, above, a little more formalized with three arancini and three papparadelle pasta rolls. We topped this with a very light white wine cream sauce and some pumpkin seeds, basil and parmesan.
If you scroll to the top of the blog you will see it works equally well with a rustic serving of pasta in the center and arancini scattered around and a much more liberal portion of the sauce. This is the chef/ non-chef life we lead.
The flavors of these arancini were amazing. Not only was the crisp outside delightful but the spaghetti squash and goats cheese coupled with the pumpkin seeds and white wine cream sauce was really quite yummy. We did enjoy it in early July but will be sure to return to it in the fall when we need a comfort food night.