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Arancini – Sicilian rice balls


Arancini (or arancine), the pride of Sicilian cuisine, are small timbales that can be eaten as a snack or appetizer, as a starter or even as a dish. In Sicily, they are found everywhere and at any time, always hot and scented in the many friggitories. From city to city, arancini often change shape and size, taking oval, pear or round shapes, depending on the filling. You can count about 100 variations: from the most classic to the meat and ham sauce to the more original ones like pistachio ink and cuttlefish! Today we present the timeless classics, with minced pork tomato sauce and mozzarella.


Arancine - Sicilian Rice balls

Yield: 15
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes


For the rice:

  • Carnaroli rice 500 gr
  • saffron 6 gr
  • salt 10 gr
  • butter 30 gr
  • water 1.2 L

For the filling:

  • Tomato Sauce 200gr
  • Ground Pork 100gr
  • Olive oil 25 gr
  • Red Wine 50 gr
  • Peas 80 gr
  • Onion 1/2
  • Mozzarella 200 gr


For rice

  1. To prepare the rice, first boil the rice in 1.2 liters of boiling salted water, so that once cooked, the water has been completely absorbed (this will allow the starch to remain all in the pot and you will get a very compound dry and compact).
  2. Cook for about 15 minutes, then dissolve the saffron in very little hot water and add to the now cooked rice. At the end, add the butter cut into cubes.
  3. Mix well, then pour the rice on a wide and low tray and cover it with the film, to prevent the surface from drying out.

For the filling

  1. Let the rice rest for a few hours out of the refrigerator. Meanwhile, dedicated to the filling: clean and finely slice the onion.
  2. Cook the chopped onion in a saucepan with 2 tablespoons of oil, then add the minced meat and brown it over high heat. Add the wine and let it evaporate.
  3. At this point, add the tomato sauce, salt, and pepper to taste and cook over low heat for at least 20 minutes. Halfway through cooking, add the peas (if necessary, add very little hot water as the sauce must be thick and non-liquid).
  4. While the sauce is cooking, you can cut the mozzarella into cubes, so you will have the filling ready.

Form and fill arancine

  1. Once the rice is completely cold (it will take at least two hours), you can form the arancini. It is much easier if you keep a bowl full of water near you so you can moisten your hands. Take a few tablespoons of rice at a time (about 100 grams), crush the pile in the middle of your hand forming a bowl and pour a teaspoon of filling with ragù and some mozzarella cubes.
  2. Then close the base of the arancini with the rice and form it by giving it a round shape.
  3. Now that all the arancini are ready, prepare the batter: in a bowl pour the sifted flour and a pinch of salt. Mix thoroughly with a whisk to prevent lumps from forming.
  4. Then dip the arancini in the mixture one by one, taking care to completely cover them and roll them in the breadcrumbs.
  5. In a saucepan, heat the oil and bring it to 170 ° C. Fry an arancino at a time or a maximum of two, to avoid lowering the oil temperature.
Nutrition Information
Yield 15 Serving Size 3
Amount Per Serving Calories 245Total Fat 8gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 4gCholesterol 21mgSodium 427mgCarbohydrates 12gFiber 1gSugar 1gProtein 6g
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