December 08, 2009

What We Love

Monday, the morning after. A lone arancini. Arancini. My ears hear orange. My eyes see fig. I am reminded of summer. Prosciutto and mozzarella nestled dead center. The kernels of rice proliferating out towards the golden crumbs of seasoned bread.

Saturday afternoon...

Roberto, over the stove, stirring the arborio. I, over the stove, stirring the chocolate. We were busily prepping for 38 Years Chocolate Mousse Sunday.


When I asked Roberto how he cooked the rice for the arancini ( I was engrossed with mousse...I failed to pay appropriate attention for the purposes of this blog—having paid appropriate attention for the purposes of this blog would have resulted in a deflated or curdle textured mousse, I suspect) this is what he said:

'I cooked the rice like I do when I make risotto. Saute shallot/onion in some oil, throw in the rice to toast that a little in the oil, then a splash of white wine, followed by slowly adding stock until the rice is done. After the rice cooled, I added an egg, and pieces of prosciutto. I think that was it...'

Saturday evening...

We formed our two person assembly line, Roberto building the arancini, me flouring, egging, breading, and that final cupping for spherical perfection. Who knew my hands would be built for such a thing. They were almost too perfect.

Earlier Saturday...

I was running out of hands, forearms, and biceps. Shuffling around the narrow Italian deli with two boxes of De Cecco ziti, a crusty baguette straight from the oven, two heads of garlic, a gross of chestnuts, the arborio rice for the arancini...Roberto waited at the deli case for the thinly sliced prosciutto. Others waited behind him for a sandwich (sangweech) or single hit of espresso.

So much to do. My list became ever-expanding lists as the day progressed. Saturday and Sunday morphed into each other, much like cookies do when baked too closely together...the days were joined at the hip.

Sunday morning...

'Only three weeks left' yelled the bread lady.

'The mushroom people are gone already!' I fumed.

'How do the oysters look?' Roberto asked the fishmonger.

The man and his cronies smiled and nodded with bobble-headed enthusiasm. 'They look really good' one man said.

We walked away with a bakers dozen.

Sunday afternoon...

The air was chilly, the fryer set up outside, else the house and we would smell of cooking oil many many days later.

It all happened so fast, the frying. Roberto's mother watched as I shot the mound of arancini in the cool November mid-afternoon light. We had to hurry and get them inside...there was eating to be done. Lots of eating.

Monday morning...

Roberto, sleeping. Me, a sleepy camera aimed. Arancini, sliced.

Monday evening...

Reheated in the toaster oven, resting on a slice of bread so as not to leave behind breadcrumbs or a trace of oil. We shared the last arancini, post pasta.

'We need to make a bigger batch next time' he said. I agreed.


  1. What lovely round Arancini.... I might even drag Vincenzo over to the computer as he loves them almost as much as pasta (Arancini filled with ragu eaten in Sicily are the exception to his usually no meat life)
    A beautifully writen post, but then I'm starting to expect that from you. Happy Wednesday to you.

  2. rachel...thank you. Happy Wednesday to you as well :)

    Arancini filled with ragu...that sounds...wonderful. I'm craving this now. I'm craving a lunch of arancini filled with ragu. I will obsess over this for most of the day, I'm sure.

  3. i LOVE, i mean LOVE, arancini!!!
    When I make risotto i always make more for these guys.
    Here's how I present mine:

  4. Only two market weeks left. I'm already going into withdraw.

  5. Your arancini are perfectly round and they look delicious.

  6. I love the journey you just took us on. I could picture the bread lady and the fishmonger and you and Robert in the kitchen. The arancini looks outstanding and of course I can't wait for you next post. Wonderful!

  7. Amelia...We need to start making extra risotto just for these.

    Beth...I'm not looking forward to making the trip over to Waverly once Sundays market is gone.

    Julie...they were perfect practice for the tuna meatballs I rolled for Cookbook Club.

    Alexandria...thank you and thanks for stopping by. :)

    Denise...So happy to be living a life filled with these kinds of moments.


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