PARTNER POST: Get ready to feed a holiday crowd with appetizer recipes paired perfectly with food-friendly Cavit wines.
With the holidays upon us, you want a delicious, yet simple appetizer. These Arancini with marinara sauce are a perfectly easy bite, paired with food-friendly wine.
The holidays are HERE! Aside from baking up a storm, appetizers are huge this time of year. I love to have a couple of simple, fancy-ish ones up my sleeve for gatherings. Arancini, aka Risotto balls, are delicious and you can make them ahead of time, simply frying them up before your party.
Every year, I hope to throw a fun holiday gathering with my friends, yet the busy schedules always seem to get in the way. I am determined to make it happen this year! I would love to host an Italian Happy Hour with simple bites, Cavit wine and conversation. No ugly sweater gimmicks, just a fun happy hour. Not saying I don’t love Ugly Sweater parties…but I just want something simplified.
The best part of the Arancini is the cheesy center! It’s a nice surprise for your guests–my girls went crazy for these. You can make these up to 3 days ahead of time, simply shallow frying them right before the party. I have a delicious Tomato Risotto recipe that is perfect for this recipe. If you want to use a store bought boxed mix, that works too! Just make sure you have 2 cups of cold, prepared risotto before starting the Arancini.
Arancini can go with both red and white Cavit wine. The marinara pairs with red, yet I love to pair creamy dishes with white wine. Cavit Wine is not only delicious wine, it’s budget friendly. I like to get 3 bottles of the Select Red Blend and 3 of Pinot Grigio for any gathering. They’re crowd pleasers for everyone!
For another easy holiday appetizer, try these trout bites. Recipe here.
- 2 cups of cooked and chilled risotto (see recipe link earlier in the post)
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup of grated Parmesan
- 1.5 cups Italian Seasoned Bread Crumbs
- 4 oz mozzarella, cubed
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil to shallow fry (about ½ cup)
- To Dip: Marinara
- In a medium sized bowl, add chilled risotto, eggs, Parmesan and ½ cup bread crumbs. Stir to incorporate.
- Preheat cast iron skillet or pan with ½ inch Extra Virgin Olive Oil over medium heat.
- Pour the rest of the bread crumbs on a plate.
- Using a teaspoon, scoop the risotto mixture into round balls. Roll to make a circle, then push a small square of mozzarella in the center. Roll to cover cheese.
- Transfer the arancini to the bread crumb plate and roll to cover. Place in hot pan, frying on both sides until golden brown.
- Place on a paper towel lined plate after cooking and sprinkle with salt.
- Serve with warmed marinara.