Arancini, pride of the Sicilian kitchen, are fried rice balls filled with meat ragu and peas. They can also be filled with vegetables such as mushrooms or eggplants. Their Italian name comes to us from the word for orange (arancia), which they faintly resemble in color and texture. Nowadays the arancine made in western Sicily are round while those made in eastern Sicily (particularly around Catania) are often conical. In Sicily they are found at anytime and anyplace, always warm and fragrant in the many “friggitorie”.


  • Ingredients for rice:
    • Butter – 50 gr
    • Grated Pecorino – 50 gr
    • Rice – 400 gr
    • Eggs – 3
    • Saffron – 1 pouch 
  • Ingredients for filling:
    • Caciocavallo Cheese or Parmigiano 100 gr
    • Ground Beef – 150 gr
    • Onions – 1 small
    • Extravergine olive oil – 3 spoons
    • Salt and Pepper
    • Peas – 100 gr
    • Tomatoes – sauce 100 gr
    • Bread crumb


Boil the rice in abundant salted water, and then drains it “al dente”. Add the saffron and 3 eggs, the butter, and the grated pecorino to the rice and let it cool down.

Cook the peas for 10 minutes with a spoon of oil and two of water. Simmer the onion with 2 spoons of olive oil, then add the ground beef and sauté till cooked, add salt and pepper. At this point add the tomato sauce and cook at least for 20 minutes at moderated fire, then add the peas and let thicken the sauce. 

With the rice previously prepared, form one little ball of the dimensions of a mandarin; make a socket to the center where you will place a spoon of sauce, and two or three small cubes of caciocavallo, then close it up with of the other rice. After using all the ingredients, place the balls in flour, then in beaten egg, and then fry in hot oil till golden, Serve the arancini warm. 

Traduzione di Rosalia Ciminella


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