Arancini Di Carne

When Dave and I were in Sicily in 2013 I made a point of looking out for arancini di carne, as these are a traditional food to the region. However, I did not see any which left me wanting to try and make some  arancini di carne when we got home. I was quite pleased then to see that this is what had been set as our Daring Cooks’ challenge for January. With all things Sicilian, I turn to my signed copy of Giorgio Locatelli’s Made In Sicily. His favourite form of arancini are the ones that I have made here, and can be found in Catania, which we drove through on our first day in Sicily. This peasant food can be served as an antipasti and as Dave and I always have an antipasti meal for Christmas lunch, I chose to make them to go with our cured meats and Tuscan bread. Dave thought they could do with a little more filling, but I tried to channel what would be considered left overs and I did not stuff them with too much meat. The rice balls were deemed perfect by James who told me he would not mind having arancini for lunch. Making them takes time and a lot of hand wetting and washing, but they were so worth it. The crunchy exterior letting way to the soft warm rice and extremely delicious ragù. If you ever find yourself with leftover risotto then please make some arancini, even if you do not normally deep fry food. They are the perfect way to use up left overs and make a great meal, whether served hot or cold.

Arancini Di Carne
Arancini Di Carne
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Arancini Di Carne | Rice Balls With Meat

Recipe Category: Italian
Makes enough for: 1 batch arancini
All Rights Reserved: Adapted from Giorgio Locateli's Made In Sicily, pages 37 - 39


for the risotto:

  • 800 mls chicken stock
  • 250 g arboria rice
  • 2 g fine salt
  • 8 saffron threads
  • 30 g pecorino cheese, grated

for the ragù

  • 15 mls olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 rib celery, finely chopped
  • 350 g minced beef
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to season
  • 120 mls red wine
  • 400 g tin whole peeled tomatoes, chopped
  • 50 g cooked peas
  • 100 g Danish feta

for the arancini

  • Vegetable oil for deep frying
  • 150 g fine bread crumbs in a large bowl
  • 2 egg whites


for the risotto:

  • Bring the stock to the boil in a sauce pan
  • Add the rice, salt and saffron
  • Bring back to the boil and cook for 15 minutes
  • Remove from the heat and after 1 minute, beat in the pecorino
  • Set aside to cool completely

for the ragù

  • Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan
  • Sauté the onions, carrots and celery until soft without colouring
  • Brown the meat and season generously
  • Allow to cook for a few minutes and then add the wine
  • Allow the alcohol to evaporate and then add the tomatoes
  • Leave to simmer for an hour
  • Leave to cool before adding the peas and the cheese

for the arancini

  • Once everything is at room temperature place your oil into a deep sauce pan and allow to heat to 170° Celsius
  • Wet your hands and using a serving spoon, scoop some rice into your palm
  • Shape into a large ball and then press your thumb into the centre to make a hole
  • Fill the hole with a spoonful of ragù and seal up and shape back into a ball
  • Wet your hands and repeat until you have used up all the rice - I made 8
  • Now beat the egg whites and dip one of the balls into the egg whites
  • Place the rice ball into the bread crumbs and coat completely
  • Lightly compact the bread crumbs with your hand and fry for 4 minutes until golden brown
  • Set aside on some kitchen paper to drain
  • Repeat until all your rice balls are fried off - you will have to beat the eggs whites between each dipping
  • Serve hot or cold - to reheat, place in an oven that has been preheated to 160° Celsius for 10 minutes

Click on the links for conversions and notes.

Blog-checking lines:
January’s Daring Cooks’ challenge was a ball! The lovely Manu from Manu’s Menu brought our taste buds to the streets of Sicily and taught us her family tradition of making arancini – filled and fried balls of risotto. Delizioso!

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24 thoughts on “Arancini Di Carne

  1. YUMMMMMM! The meat version is my favourite… Yours look so crunchy on the outside! Awww… now I am craving arancine! sigh! I am so glad you enjoyed the challenge Tandy! 🙂

  2. It has me wondering if arancini could even be made in the oven—I don’t have a specially good setup for deep frying in my kitchen—though I’ve been known to do it regardless, for the right recipe, and this might be the one. 😉

  3. They look great. I’ve only made arancini once before but did bake them in the oven to avoid having to deep fry them. They were still really good.

  4. I love arancini but have never braved making them myself. I’ll have to give your recipe a try.

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