Rice balls with meat sauce – Arancini di riso al ragù

Ingredients for 6 servings

  • 4 cup of rice
  • 1 small bag of saffron
  • 3 tbsp of grated pecorino( or Parmesan) cheese
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup of dried breadcrumbs
  • flour
  • seed oil
  • salt


For the filling

  • 1/2 pound of minced meat
  • 1 cup of shelled peas
  • 1 small onion
  • 1/2 stalk of celery
  • 1/2 carrot
  • 3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp of butter
  • dry white wine
  • 2 spoons of tomato concentrate
  • 4 oz. of fresh caciocavallo or primosale
  • seed oil
  • salt
  • pepper TT


Arancini are one of Sicily’s best-know deli specialties; they are popular in the whole island and have various fillings.



Put the oil, butter and minced onion, celery and carrot in a saucepan. Before the herbs are golden, add the minced meat and sautè for a few minutes; then, sprinkle with a little wine and allow to evaporate. Add the peas and mix for a couple of minutes. Stir in a cup of warm water, to which you will have added the tomato concentrate. Add salt, pepper and simmer for 35-40 minutes. Boil the rice in abundant salted water; strain it al dente and season it with the saffron, dissolved in a little water , the pecorino (parmesan ch.) and 2 eggs. Let the mixture cool down and put a spoonful in one hand. Squash the rice, and make a shell you will fill with a spoon of the meat sauce and the diced cheese. Close up with some more rice and shape it into a ball just a little bigger than an eggs. Cover slightly with flour; dip them in the beaten eggs and then in the breadcrumbs and deep fry them in abundant hot seed oil.



Besides the minced meat and peas filling, arancinis can be prepared with a butter, cheese, primo sale and cooked ham filling; with a chicken sauce or with boiled spinaches and cheese.