Arancini!

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Sometimes I can’t help craving a satisfying snack!  Something small, something bit-size, but that will fill me right up on the go. I happen to LOVE Arancini balls! Growing up Italian, this was definitely a staple! A lot of the ingredients are easy to find ingredients that are usually already in your pantry, making it an easy go-to snack.

The best part is that they are super versatile! I happen to like adding “surprises” within. There’s nothing like biting into an arancini and finding melty cheese and little bursts of sweet peas. You can also add chicken, herbs, or whatever you like! Make them smaller for appetizers and party platters, or make them larger for more of a side dish. The options are endless, but no matter how you like to make your arancini balls, they will always taste perfect 😉

Ingredients

3 Cups Chicken Stock

1 Pinch Saffron

1 Shallot, chopped

2 Cup White Wine

1 1/2 Cups Carnaroli Rice (Arborio rice will also work)

2 Eggs

1 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

1 Cup cooked peas

1/2 Pound Mozzarella Cheese (Cut into 1/2″ chunks)

4 Cups All Purpose Flour

6 Eggs

4 Cups Bread Crumbs

Directions

1.In a medium pot, lightly brown the shallot and garlic.

2.  Add the rice and keep stirring to allow the rice to get a little crispy. YUM

3. Add the water, wine and saffron. Let cook for 30 minutes, stirring frequently. The rice should be al

dente.

4. Pour rice onto a baking sheet and place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes, or until

cool.

5. Once cooled, transfer rice to a large mixing bowl. Form a ‘well’ in the center of the

rice and add the 6 eggs and parmesan cheese.

6. Mix with hands until everything is evenly mixed together.

7. Scoop out a handful and create a flat surface. Add a pinch of peas, and one chunk

mozzarella to the center, then fold over the edges and roll together to form a ball.

8. Once the balls are formed, in a large mixing bowl of All-Purpose Flour, completely

cover the ball. Then transfer to the flour dipped ball into your egg wash bowl. Lastly roll the ball in a mixing bowl of bread crumbs. **Panko makes them nice and crispy

9. In a large skillet, heat 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Once heated add rice balls into

the pan and let cook for 3-5 minutes on each side. They should be golden brown.

10. Serve with a light tomato sauce

**For a healthier option, you can also bake the balls in a 350 degree oven until golden brown.

Happy eatings!!!!!

– Chef K

Brown Butter Sage Sauce

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By far one of our most popular pastas is the Tortelli Ricotta e Spinaci. But did you know that the pièce de résistance – the butter sage sauce – is super easy and quick to make?! This makes it an ideal mid-week quick and delicious fix! Sometimes you may not have as many ingredients to work with, or perhaps you are just in the mood for something besides a marinara based sauce. This quick sauce is perfect to make in a flash, and requires such few ingredients! It’s tasty, rich, and a little goes a long way! You can use the butter sage sauce on any kind of pasta you like, but I personally love using it on filled pastas. For example, I use it with a ricotta and spinach filled tortelli pasta, but it is also used a lot with pumpkin or squash filled raviolis too! Talk about winter time favorites!

What you need:
Pasta (of your own choice)
4 tablespoons butter
8 sage leaves
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
What to do:
As your pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a 12 inch saute pan and cook until a bubbly golden brown.  Add the sage leaves until crisped and remove from the heat. Pour the lemon juice into the butter and then put it aside. Cook your pasta until al dente, and then drizzle the brown butter sauce over the warm pasta. Sprinkle the Parmigiano-Reggiano all over, toss to coat fully and then serve immediately! Easy and delicious!
Let me know how yours comes out and as always, feel free to ask questions! I promise you’ll LOVE it!
-Kristin

Storing Herbs in the Kitchen

If there’s one thing I use often in Italian cooking, it’s herbs! From basil to thyme, rosemary to tarragon, there are so many wonderful herbs to use for cooking. I’ve noticed that sometimes people shy away from herbs because they can definitely be a little pricier, and of course, can go bad quickly when not used! So, here a few tips!

One great way to store herbs is to keep them in a glass jar with some water. Think of them like a new plant! I have found that my basil will last much longer when kept this way. Another great tip I have heard is to wrap them in a damp paper towel and keep it in the fridge. This does work, but definitely not for a long time. This method is best used for immediate use.

My favorite herb tip is actually from our Italian Inspiration board on Pinterest! Freezing your herbs in water or in olive oil is genius! I prefer the olive oil idea though, because that way it’s ready to plop into the pot or pan, ready to go!

Sometimes it’s the simplest tips that can really make a difference! Be sure to share these tips and try them out at home!

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Summer Salads

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When it’s sunny out, sometimes there’s nothing better than having a crisp, fresh, tasty salad. I’m sure we can all agree that we are all also preparing for our bikini summer bodies too! Whether you’re making them at home, or dining out, some of the best salads don’t have any leaves at all! A huge favorite of mine is our Insalate di Stagione. I take warm, sweet beets and other vegetables like carrots, sprouts, and mushrooms, and cook them ever so slightly to keep them still nice and crisp. The vibrant colors are beautiful too! So now you have this base of gorgeous, fresh, healthy vegetables all packed with flavor just waiting to be dressed up. This is the best part…simple reduced balsamic vinaigrette gets drizzled all over them. It’s thick, sweet, and has that pure, deep balsamic taste that we all love. Next I shred some slices of ricotta salata cheese to top it off. This is a hard ricotta cheese, that is slightly salty and gives the salad that nice bite. To jazz it up even more, I plate it in a Parmesan crust bowl. I know…amazing right?! Altogether it’s just fresh, crisp, warm, sweet, salty, crunchy, and perfect in every bite! Best of all, it is so simple to make. So that’s my summer salad tip for the day! Try making your version at home, or come visit us at Bocca di Bacco! Enjoy!

-Kristin