Rice arancini (or arancine), are the pride of Sicilian cuisine, small timbales eaten either as a snack or as an appetizer, first course or even main course.
They are also excellent for the Easter or Easter Monday menu, especially if we decide to celebrate them outside the house, outdoors precisely because of the fact that they can be transported easily.
Moreover, their peculiarity is that they vary from city to city, often changing shape and size, taking oval, pyramid or round shapes, depending on the filling.
I present today the most classic one with meat sauce and peas. I add mozzarella cheese because i love Mozzarella!!
I will show you my tricks for preparing them at home quickly and without stress.
The day before we prepare the meat sauce and peas, the next day we prepare the rice and once cold, we go to compose the arancini, even better if you buy the arancini form , a tool that you can find everywhere , both on the internet and in small household stores, which will allow us to make perfect arancini in a very fast way especially for those who are not very practical in making them by hand.
Makes 10 arancini
For the rice:
- 2 cups of rice (Arborio or Carnaroli)
- 4 cups of water
- 4 tbsp of butter
- 1 tsp of saffron
- 1 cup of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tbsp of salt
Bring the water to a boil with the bay leaf.
Add salt and the rice.
Cook on a low heat until the water is
Dissolve the saffron in 2 tablespoons of the cooking water.
When the rice is ready, add the saffron, butter and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.
Stir well and set aside to cool.
For the ragú
- 10 oz of minced meat (can be a mix of pork and veal)
- 2/3 cup of frozen peas
- 1 chopped onion
- 1 grated carrot
- 1 chopped celery stalk
- 1/2 glass of red wine
- 1 can of chopped tomatoes
- olive oil to taste
- salt and pepper to taste
Stir-fry the onion, celery and carrot in olive oil.
Add salt and pepper.
When the vegetables are soft add the meat, cook for a couple of minutes and add the wine.
Add the peas and tomatoes and let it cook on a low heat with the lid for at least an hour.
Cool before stuffing the arancini.
For the stuffing:
- 2 cups of mozzarella cheese, cubed
For the breading
- water to taste
- all purpose flour to taste
- bread crumbs to taste
Divide the rice in 10 parts.
You can use an arancini maker or your own hands.
If you use your hands make sure to soak them in water first.
Grab ¾ of one of the portions and make a nest in your hand.
Put 2 tbsp of stuffing and a couple of pieces of mozzarella, close with the rest of the rice and squeeze so there
is no air left inside.
For the breading, mix flour and water to make a light mixture.
Put the arancini in that mixture and then in the bread crumbs.
Let the arancini cool for a bit before frying.
Fry in a generous amount of oil until they are golden and hot
The oil should not be too hot (340ºF for at least 3-4 minutes each) since the arancini are big and need proper time so the heat reaches the center.
If you have stuffing leftovers, enjoy them with a nice pasta!
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