450g can sliced beetroot
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra, to deep-fry
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 cup arborio rice
250ml dry white wine
500ml chicken stock, heated
25g parmesan, finely grated
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp dried oregano
Sea-salt akes and freshly ground black pepper, to season
2 Tbsp finely chopped basil leaves, plus extra leaves, to serve
50g firm mozzarella (not fresh bocconcini style), cut into 28 x 1cm cubes
1⁄2 cup plain flour
4 free-range eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
Aioli, to serve
Drain beetroot, reserving 3⁄4 cup of the liquid and transfer liquid to a medium saucepan over a medium heat. Bring to the boil then remove from heat and cover with a lid to keep warm.
Meanwhile, finely chop 1⁄4 cup of the beetroot slices and set aside.
Heat oil in a large heavy- based saucepan over a medium heat. Add onion, garlic and rice, cooking until rice begins to turn translucent and onion is soft. Stir in chopped beetroot and pour in wine. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until wine has almost absorbed. Pour in hot stock mixture and reserved beetroot liquid, 1⁄2 cup at a time, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Only add more once stock has been absorbed. Continue stirring until all stock has been used. This should take about 20 minutes in total.
Stir in parmesan, lemon zest and oregano. Season and set aside for 20 minutes to cool. Transfer risotto to a large bowl and refrigerate overnight to cool completely.
Stir in basil then roll 1 Tbsp of the risotto into a ball. Repeat with remaining mixture to make 28 balls. Push a mozzarella cube into each ball and re-roll to seal
Put flour, eggs and breadcrumbs in separate bowls. Working in 3 batches, toss risotto balls in flour, shake off excess then coat in egg, shake off excess and roll in crumbs until completely coated. Repeat
to give balls a second coating of egg and crumbs.
Arrange arancini on freezer-proof trays in a single layer and freeze for 6 hours or overnight until frozen solid. Transfer to a labelled large zip-lock bag and freeze for up to 2 months.
On the day:
Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 2 oven trays with baking paper. Pour extra oil into a small saucepan until 4cm deep. Heat to 180°C on a cook’s thermometer, or until a cube of bread turns golden in 30 seconds. From frozen, cook arancini in 3 batches for 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer to prepared trays.
Bake for 20 minutes or until cheese is hot and oozy. Serve scattered with salt, extra basil and aioli on the side.