There is a saying that cooking is good for the soul and this is definitely the case when cooking italian food. Whether you are cooking for a special occasion, for family, for friends or in this case trying something that you have seen often but have never tried before. Inspired by watching one to many Detective Montalbano episodes Joe and I decided to get to it!!
Arancini di Riso (Sicilian Rice Balls) – the Arancini because the size and color of the finished rice balls approximates an orange – is a typical sicilian dish of fried rice balls that have assorted. Typical for italian recipes there are almost as many versions as there are sicilian grandmothers, however I prefer recipes that include some type of meet ragu for the filling.
I have attached a video link (in italian OR click to convert to english) for one particularly good recipe but encourage you to google “arancini di riso” to explore the many versions of this recipe on the internet. This link provides the ingredient list as well as shows you the technique which I found very helpful. Arancini di Riso – How to Video
Ingredients – Filling
- 150 grams ground meet (beef or pork or a combination of both)
- 80 grams peas (fresh are best but you can use frozen)
- 150 grams Provola Cheese (soft provolone or you can use mozzarella – not the white but the pale yellow)
- 40 grams tomato paste (use double concentrated that comes in tube)
- Olive Oil
- 100 ml red wine
- 1/2 onion
- 25 grams butter
To make the filling heat the butter and olive oil in pan. Cook for approximately 5 to 8 minutes until onion is translucent. Add ground meat and cook through. Add wine and cook for approximately 5 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook to reduce about 10 to 15 minutes stirring often. Season with pepper and add peas and take off heat. Stir a few more times and then leave to cool. Filling should be thick and not to runny.
Ingredients – Rice
- 500 grams (long grain white rice)
- one packet of saffron
- 30 grams butter
- 100 grams grated cheese (Parmigiano Reggiano)
- 3 egg yolks
To make the rice cook rice per instructions on package. Remove rice from pan to large bowl and add saffron, butter, grated cheese, egg yolks, and salt and mix throughly. When finished spread rice out on large flat plate.
Assembly and Deep Frying
- Grapeseed Oil
- Bread crumbs
- 2 eggs beaten
Watch the video for this part as the visuals are so much better than any explanation I can offer.