Okay. I was just re-checking the reservation for the apartment we rented in Venice and noticed the name of the street: Terá Assassini. My italian language skills are shameful…but this street name, if I translate it literally, could mean: “There will be an assassination”. That’s pretty spooky.
We shall be positive. What rhymes with Assassini? Arancini! Arancini means “little oranges” in Italian. These little rice thingies are so tasty.
There’s another even more ironic part to this story. The street where we’ll stay in Lisbon is named: Rua do Salvador, which means: “Street of the Savior”.
But none of the aforementioned matters because…The point of the story is that I can’t wait to taste a gelato every day and eat codfish until I become salty.
6 cups water
3 cups Arborio rice
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ lb ground beef
2 tablespoons tomato paste
½ cup dry red wine or stock
1 cup tomato sauce
1 cup shelled peas, blanched for 30 seconds and drained
freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups fine dried bread crumbs
vegetable oil for deep frying
In a saucepan bring the water to a boil. Add the rice, cover, reduce the heat to low and cook until the water has been absorbed, 15-20 minutes. The rice should be al dente but cooked through and still a little sticky. Mix in the eggs, one at a time, and the cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spread out on a baking sheet, cover and refrigerate to cool.
Meanwhile, in a sauté pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion and sauté until tender and translucent, 8-10 minutes. Add the meat and stir, breaking it up, until it browns, just a few minutes. Add the tomato paste and wine or stock and simmer for 5 minutes. Then add the tomato sauce and simmer until thickened, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the blanched peas. Season to taste with salt, pepper and with a little nutmeg. Let cool to room temperature.
To make the rice balls, put the flour in a shallow bowl. Break the eggs into another shallow bowl and beat lightly with a little water. Place the bread crumbs in a third shallow bowl.
You can make the rice balls small or make them the size of 3-inch oranges. Put a few spoonfuls of rice in the palm of your hand and make an indentation in the center with your finger, to form a pocket.
Slip a spoonful of filling into the pocket and then “fold” the rice over the filling. Roll the rice into a nicely shaped ball. Then roll the ball in the flour, dip it in the beaten egg, and then roll it in the bread crumbs. Set on a wire rack. Repeat until you have used up all of the rice and filling.
Pour oil into a deep sauté pan to a depth of 3 inches and heat to 375 F (190C), or until a rice ball dropped into the oil begins to color within moments. When the oil is ready, deep-fry the rice balls, a few at a time, until they are golden, 4-5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon remove to paper towels to drain briefly, and repeat until all of the rice balls are cooked.
Arrange on a warmed platter and serve at once. Serves 6 to 8.
Eu estava re-confirmando os dados da reserva para o apartamento que alugamos em Veneza e levei um susto quando lí o nome da rua: Terá Assassini. Isso para mim significa “vai ter assassinato”. Que nome louco! Olha, temos que ser otimistas. Vamos pensar numa palavra positiva que rima com assissini. Arancini! Estes bolinhos de risotto são uma tentação. Arancini significa “laranjas pequenas”.
A outra ironía. O nome da rua onde vamos ficar em Lisboa: Rua do Salvador.
O que importa nessa história é que vou provar todos os gelatos da vida e comer bacalhau até eu me salgar.