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Spicy cheesy pasta arancini with pepper & tomato sauce

Spicy cheesy pasta arancini with pepper & tomato sauce

We’ve given arancini a spicy remix; these are cheesy, spicy, melty, crunchy – and so good to serve to friends as a starter or nibble with a glass of something cold.

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  • Makes12
  • CourseMain meal
  • Prepare30 mins
  • Cook1 hr 25 mins
  • Total time1 hr 55 mins
  • Pluschilling

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  • 300g fusilli
  • 75g unsalted butter
  • 75g plain flour
  • 568ml whole milk
  • 2 x 160g 250g (from 2 x 160g packs) Mexicana Original Hot! Slices
  • 80g Parmigiano Reggiano, finely grated
  • 195g can sweetcorn, drained
  • 150g Essential Mozzarella, cut into 10-12 small pieces
  • 150g Cooks’ Ingredients Panko Breadcrumbs
  • 2 British Blacktail Large Free Range Eggs
  • 1 L vegetable oil, for frying

For the pepper & tomato sauce

  • 1 tbsp Essential Olive Oil
  • 2 clove/s garlic, sliced
  • ¼ tsp Cooks’ Ingredients Chipotle Chilli Flakes (optional)
  • 75g Fragata Pimiento Piquillo Peppers, drained and finely chopped
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • ½ x 25g pack basil, leaves chopped


  1. Cook the pasta in salted boiling water for 11 minutes, then drain and refresh under cold water; allow to drip dry in the colander. Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan. Once foaming add the flour, then cook it out for a couple of minutes, until smelling nutty.

  2. Gradually stir in the milk, until amalgamated. Cook for 10-15 minutes more, stirring often, until thick. Turn the heat off and stir in the Mexicana slices and parmesan. Season well and allow the cheese to melt. Mix in the cooled pasta and the sweetcorn. Cover, cool and refrigerate for 2 hours to firm up well.

  3. To make the tomato sauce, warm the olive oil in a small saucepan, add the garlic and chilli flakes if using, and cook gently for 30 seconds until fragrant. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and peppers, then simmer for 20 minutes until thick and rich. Stir in the basil and set aside (can be served at room temperature, or hot).

  4. Beat the eggs in a shallow bowl and tip the breadcrumbs into another. Line a tray with baking parchment and another with kitchen paper. Shape a tennis ball-sized round of pasta mixture around 1 piece of mozzarella, dunk into the egg, then coat in the breadcrumbs. Set aside on the parchment-lined tray. Repeat to make 11 more. Chill until ready to cook. Preheat the oven to 150ºC, gas mark 2.

  5. Heat a 3-4cm depth of oil in a large saucepan until it reaches 170ºC. Lower 2-3 of the balls in at a time and fry for 15-16 minutes until deep golden, then keep warm on another tray lined with kitchen paper, in the oven. Repeat with the rest and serve with the pepper and tomato sauce for dipping.


Typical values per item when made using specific products in recipe


1,984kJ/ 475kcals



Saturated Fat












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