Arancini di Riso

Rice Balls

Arancini di Riso

Arancini, fried rice balls, are a Sicilian food speciality stuffed with meat, peas and tomato sauce.  They are said to have originated in 10th-century Sicily, at a time when the island was under Arab rule. The arancino was first introduced into the Kingdom of Naples by the Aragones who named them palle di riso, meaning rice balls.   Although arancini are found throughout all of Sicily, they are  especially celebrated on the feast day of Saint Lucia, December 13th in Palermo, where hundreds them are prepared for the patron saint day.

Difficulty: Beginner Servings: 7 Best Season: Suitable throughout the year




  1. In a pan, fry the small chopped onion in butter until golden.

    Next add in the rice and saffron threads to the pan. Mix them together.

    Add in the vegetable broth one ladle-full at a time to the mixture. Allow the broth to reduce before adding another ladle-full. Continue doing this until rice is cooked al dente.

    Add Parmigiano cheese and 1 whole beaten egg. Mix well, then remove from heat and allow rice to cool.

    After the rice is cool, add the ham, mozzarella, salt and pepper.

    Scoop and roll into a ball place on parchment paper.

    Lightly flour the rice ball, then dip into the egg and roll in the bread crumbs until it is covered.

    Fry in hot peanut or sunflower oil, turning halfway, until golden brown.

    Remove when golden brown and transfer to paper-towel-lined plate to drain.

    Serve hot.