Arancini recipe, a typical specialty of Sicilian cuisine; a mouth-watering street food, loved all over the world.
Arancini are small rice balls, round or cone-shaped, stuffed with meat sauce, peas and caciocavallo cheese, or simply with ham and mozzarella, breaded and then fried. They have a crispy crust that hides a soft and tasty heart which, due to its golden color and shape, bring to mind an orange (it: arancia), hence the name “arancini”.
Here we’ll show you how to make the traditional and most famous recipe of Sicilian Arancini, which, according to tradition, are usually made on December 13, the day of Saint Lucia.
In the arancini recipe the main preparations are basically 3:
- make a saffron risotto: it must be used cold, so you can even make it the day before
- make a meat sauce, similar to the Bolognese sauce (even this the day before if you like)
- prepare diced ham and mozzarella
After, it’s a question of putting together the ingredients to assemble the arancini and then frying.
The result will amaze you and you will bring to the table the most delicious arancini ever made!
How to Make Arancini Recipe
- Prep Time: 60 Min+ the cooling time for the rice
- Cook Time: 45 Min
- Yelds: 10 arancini
For the Rice:
- 500 g (1,1 lb) of vialone nano rice
- 1/4 teaspoon of saffron (powder or crushed threads)
- 30 g (1 oz) of unsalted butter
- 100 g (3,5 oz) of grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- 1,2 liter of water
- 5 g (0,17 0z) of coarse salt
For the Meat Sauce Filling:
- 30 g (1 oz) of onion
- 30g (1 oz) of celery
- 30 g (1 oz) of carrot
- 100 g (3,5 oz) of ground pork
- 100 g (3,5 oz) of ground beef
- 200 ml of tomato passata made with our recipe
- 100 g (3,5 oz) of peas (fresh or frozen)
- 60 g (2 oz) of caciocavallo cheese (optional)
- 50 ml dry red wine
- 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- Fine salt (to taste)
- Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
For the Ham and Mozzarella Filling:
- 30 g (1 oz) of cooked ham
- 60 g (2 oz) of mozzarella cheese
For breading and frying:
- 2 eggs
- 50 ml of milk
- 1 pinch of salt
- plenty of bread crumbs made with our recipe
- 2 liters of oil for frying
How to Cook Rice (sticky) for Arancini Recipe
So first you need to make a creamy and starchy risotto with saffron. The rice will have to cool, so if you like you can do it the day before and keep it in the refrigerator. You’ll need a high-sided non-stick pan to cook risotto.
How to Make Meat Sauce Filling
Arancini Recipe: How to Mold Italian Rice Balls
Now we are goig to show you how to mold arancini rice balls with your hands. Need any help? Try out this arancini mold maker or keep reading the recipe.
Trick warning! Keep a bowl full of water next to you: wet hands will help you give the arancini the desired shape.
How to Fry Arancini Balls
Once all the arancini are made, you can keep them in the fridge for 2 – 3 days (or freeze them) before frying.
How to Store Arancini
You can keep already fryed arancini in the refrigerator for a couple of days. You can heat them in the oven at 200°C (390 F) for 10 minutes before serving them.
You can freeze them raw, only if you have used all fresh and not defrosted ingredients; fry them frozen if necessary.
In Sicily there are many variations of Arancini recipe, even more than 30. Among these you can find:
- white arancini, usually stuffed with a filling of ham and mozzarella;
- arancini with saffron, which gives the rice its typical yellow color;
- red arancini, stuffed with meat sauce;
- vegetarian arancini, stuffed with vegetables;
- baked arancini, lighter than the classic fried arancini;
Arancini vary even in shape and size. In Palermo they are of considerable size and rounded, in Catania area they are more contained with shapes, that identify the filling:
- flat base and cone-shaped with meat sauce filling;
- round with ham and mozzarella filling;
- egg-shaped with chicken or spinach.