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Sicilian Rice Balls (Arancini) by Marion Borg

Source: cookidoo recipe.


  • 1200 g water

  • 1 tsp fine sea salt

  • 400 g risotto rice (e.g. Arborio, carnaroli)

  • 25 g unsalted butter, diced

  • 80 g Parmesan cheese, grated (see tip)

  • 1 medium egg

  • 1 pinch saffron powder

Ragù Sauce

  • 40 g onion, quartered

  • 30 g olive oil

  • 100 g beef mince, broken in pieces

  • 200 g tinned chopped tomatoes

  • 30 g fresh mushrooms, sliced

  • 1 Tbsp tomato purée

  • ½ tsp fine sea salt

  • 1 pinch ground black pepper

  • 70 g frozen green peas

Rice Balls

  • 2 medium eggs, beaten

  • 300 g mozzarella, drained, cut in 18 pieces

  • 100 - 150 g breadcrumbs

  • oil (e.g. sunflower, vegetable), for frying




  1. Place water and salt in mixing bowl then bring to the boil 12 min/100°C/speed 1.

  2. Add rice and cook 13 min/100°C/reverse/speed 1. Drain rice in simmering basket then transfer to a casserole dish. Add to casserole dish butter, Parmesan, egg and saffron then stir well with spatula. Cover and leave to cool completely at room temperature (approx. 1 hour). It should form a sticky dough that is easy to shape.

Ragù Sauce

  1. Place onion and oil in mixing bowl then chop 3 sec/speed 7. Scrape down sides of mixing bowl with spatula then sauté 3 min/120°C/speed 1.

  2. Add beef mince and sauté 3 min/120°C/reverse/speed 1.

  3. Add tomatoes, mushrooms, tomato purée, salt and pepper then cook 20 min/100°C/reverse/speed 1.

  4. Add frozen peas and cook 10 min/100°C/reverse/speed 1. Transfer to a bowl and leave to cool.

Rice Balls

  1. Wet hands with beaten egg, place approx. 2 Tbsp reserved rice in the palm of the hand and press flat. In the centre, place a small amount of ragù sauce and a piece of mozzarella. Place more rice on top and shape into a rice ball with hands. Set rice ball aside and repeat until all ingredients have been used (see tip).

  2. Dip rice balls in beaten egg then coat with breadcrumbs.

  3. Heat oil in a saucepan over a medium-high heat until the surface starts to bubble. Deep fry rice balls until golden and crispy then remove with a slotted spoon. Transfer to paper towels to drain excess oil then serve immediately.

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