Recipes Rice Tapas and appetizers recipes

Arancini di riso or rice croquettes. Italian recipe

Arancini di riso or rice croquettes. Italian recipe


  • Half
  • 60 minutes
  • For 4 people
  • 2.2 € / person
  • 305kcal per 100g.

How to make   Sicilian arancini or arancine. 

A traditional dish of Italian gastronomy, being very typical in the city of Messina, where they surely emerged.

They are highly valued in Italy although little known outside its borders. They have their origin in the dishes that were prepared on the island around the 10th century during the Ottoman occupation.

They are a kind of croquettes with rice as the main ingredient . In order not to fail with the rice we have used  round SOS rice , we always have it perfect for any recipe.

The idea is to form a kind of rice ball or pear filled with various ingredients. Depending on the region, there are variations in shape and filling, but the most classic is  beef ragout, beef ragout or a Bolognese sauce , peas and mozzarella, although we could fill them with anything else and they would be great.

How about filling them with ham and cheese or aubergines and ricotta? The pear-shaped arancini are typical of the Ragusa area and with their shape refer to the Etna volcano.

The quantities that I have prepared will give us perfectly for 13-14 units, but depending on whether you are going to serve them as an appetizer or as the first it will give for more or less people. I hope you like them and prepare them at home.

Preparation of the rice balls or arancini

  1. In a saucepan, heat the water to cook the rice with a pinch of salt.
  2. When it begins to boil, add the rice and cook over medium heat until it is ready and all the water has evaporated. We will have a soft rice and a little sticky.
  3. While the rice is cooking, heat 2 tablespoons of water in a saucepan and add the saffron threads.
  4. When it begins to boil we turn off the heat and reserve until it cools, at this time the saffron will release all its essence in the water. When the saffron water is cold, add the yolks and stir until integrated. We reserve.
  5. Melt the butter in the micro and let cool. Grate the Parmesan cheese and reserve.
  6. In a small saucepan, cook the peas with a pinch of salt and a splash of olive oil. We reserve.
  7. When the rice is ready, add the mixture of the yolks and the saffron in the same saucepan. We stir until all the rice is impregnated with the liquid.
  8. Pour in the melted butter and Parmesan cheese. We remove and mix all the ingredients well. We spread the rice in a wide tray and let cool completely.

Shape of the arancini

  1. We prepare the filling ingredients in 3 bowls to have them at hand when filling, the peas, the Bolognese sauce and the grated or diced mozzarella cheese.
  2. We begin to form the arancini taking a portion of rice and extending it in the hand as a bowl.
  3. In the hollow of the palm we place the filling. A portion of sauce, some peas and a little cheese.
  4. The rice that is free of filling in the hand will serve to cover the ingredients that we have just placed.
  5. That is, we cover the filling with the leftover rice around it.
  6. If we see that it is not enough we will take a little more than what we have on the tray.
  7. We are forming a ball compacting it well. Taking care that no ingredient is visible inside.
  8. You can give it the characteristic pear shape by lightly pressing the tip.
  9. It is important that you do not place too much filling in each portion, as this will force you to add much more rice than will fit in your hand.

Battering, frying and final presentation

  1. In theory, the rice that you can place in the same hand is the right one for the recipe and enough for each arancini. We make all the arancini one by one and reserve them.
  2. We prepare the batter ingredients in 2 bowls: one with the beaten eggs and the other with the breadcrumbs.
  3. We alternately pass the arancini by egg and then by breadcrumbs.
  4. We are placing them on a tray until we have them all ready.
  5. In a high-walled frying pan, heat abundant soft olive oil. When we see that it is hot enough we add several arancini to the frying . When they are well browned, remove them to a tray with absorbent paper.

They are usually served as an appetizer and can be accompanied by a little salad to taste. Simply delicious, you can prepare them and bring a piece of Sicily home with you. I hope you enjoy it.

Do not forget to enjoy all the types of croquettes that we have as appetizer recipes , as a first or even as a delicious dinner.

Tips for some yummy arancini

  • One of its most unique characteristics is its orange color due to the saffron that is part of its ingredients. In fact, the word arancini in Italian means orange . It is normally served as an appetizer.
  • Although in my opinion it could serve perfectly as the first accompanied by a salad and a sauce, given its forcefulness.
  • These rice balls are an icon in Sicily , where we can buy and eat arancini in all the bars and street stalls, as well as in the rosticcerie , very popular stores where, in addition to arancini, we can enjoy calzone or pizza .
  • As a sign of her deep roots in the region, a curiosity, Andrea Camilleri dedicated one of Commissioner Montalbano’s novels to this dish, “ Gli arancini di Montalbano ” where the commissioner spends a thousand and one adventures until he managed to have arancini dinner on New Year’s Day with the mother of one of his informants.

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