The name arancini, which is translated as “little orange” derives from their shape and color which, after cooking look like an orange. Sicilian arancini rice balls, stuffed with meat sauce, breaded, and fried until golden. To most tourists, this is street food. You don’t really get arancini in restaurants. But to Sicilians, an arancini is cooked with time and love by their mothers and grandmothers. This is my mother’s recipe. This makes about 10 -12 rice balls depending on size. Enjoy!
- 3 tablespoons oil
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1 small can tomato paste
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup peas
- 1/2 inch cut cubed Caciocavallo cheese (1 or 2 per rice ball)
Meat filling instructions: Fry onions first then add meat. Add tomato paste, salt & pepper, water & peas. Simmer until most of the liquid is absorbed. You’ll need a thick ragu. Add sugar if you like it a little sweeter.
- 5 cups chicken broth
- pinch of saffron
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 small onion, finely diced
- 2 cups Arborio rice
- 1/2 cup grated imported Pecorino Romano cheese
Shape rice into a ball (a little larger than a golf ball) Make indentation and place about 1 tablespoon meat mixture in center with a few cubes of cheese and roll rice over in your hand, adding a little more rice to cover and form a ball. Prepare all of the balls and place on waxed paper before going to the next step.
Gently dip the rice ball in beaten egg. Roll in Italian seasoned breadcrumbs and deep-fry (375) about 3-4 at a time until golden. I used my Fry Daddy. Drain on paper toweling. 2 cups of Arborio rice made about 12 arancini depending on size.