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Name of Event

The festival of Santa Rosalia in Palermo, Sicily

Cuisine From



Rice balls (Risotto) containing meat sauce, peas and cheese


Yield 10
Preparation time Sauce 30 mins + overnight (optional)
Cooking time 1 hour + 1 hour standing time
Main Ingredient Rice, Beef, Cheese, Peas


For the sauce:

  • 120 grams of ground beef
  • 120 grams of minced veal
  • 120 grams of ground pork
  • half a carrot
  • half an onion
  • a stick of celery
  • two tbs of tomato paste
  • 350 milliliters of tomato sauce
  • 5 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • a clove
  • a bay leaf
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • a glass of red wine

For the filling:

  • 100 grams of peas already cooked in salted water
  • 150 grams of soft cheese like smoked cheese, diced

For the risotto:

  • 500 grams of rice for risotto (Aborio)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 5 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • means fresh onion
  • a sachet of saffron
  • 60 grams of grated parmigiano reggiano 
  • 30 grams of butter
  • salt to taste

For the breading:

  • enough plain/all-purpose flour
  • breadcrumbs enough
  • 2 egg whites and one whole egg
  • salt to taste
  • oil for frying as needed

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  • I recommend that you prepare the sauce the day before and the sauce should be very small. Finely chop the carrot, onion and celery and let them dry in a pan with extra virgin olive oil for about 10 minutes. Combine the ground beef in small doses, fry well before adding the other. When all the meat is in the pan, add the tomato paste and wine and let it evaporate the alcohol over high heat. Finally, add the tomato puree, cloves, bay leaf, and salt and cook over low heat, covered for at least two hours. From time to time try to see if you need to adjust a little 'salt.
  • For the risotto proceed as a normal risotto but keeping very al dente: chop the onion and let it dry in a saucepan with the oil, then add the rice and toast it and add slowly the water is already hot (in this case not we use the broth to prevent the flavor of the risotto imbalances that dell'arancino in its entirety). The risotto should be done al dente, considered to cook at least 5 minutes less than normal, and add at the end of saffron and mantecando with butter and parmesan cheese.Allow to cool for five minutes and add the two egg yolks, stirring vigorously: then spread the rice on a cutting board or tray in a thin layer and let it cool for at least 30 minutes.
  • To compose the arancini (this is the most delicate moment of the preparation), take a handful of rice and, holding it in the palm of a hand, ricavatene a 'basin' flat with a thickness of about one centimeter. Put a spoonful of sauce in the center, a few peas and a few cubes of cheese. Then take another portion of rice and poggiatela over the filling, going to crush the rice ball with your hands until it forms a ball the size of a tennis ball, adding a little 'risotto if necessary so as not to vent the filling. It sounds hard but it is not, because your ingredients are cold and then 'linked' and the rice is well compacted egg.
  • Prepare three plates: one with flour, one with the two egg whites and whole egg well beaten and lightly salted and one with breadcrumbs. Carefully move your arancini (well and without any 'holes') in the flour, then in beaten egg and finally in breadcrumbs. Put them on a cutting board sprinkled with bread crumbs and let stand another 30 minutes. Finally, fry them one by one in the oil boiling seed: frying should be done with care not to fire too high, because even though everything is already 'cooked', heat must be able to melt the cheese inside but not so much too strong to darken the outer crust. Given a cooking time of about 5-7 minutes to kumquat. Serve immediately.

This recipe has been provided with the kind permission of Sicilian Creative in the Kitchen. Please visit their site for a selection of authentic recipes.

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