Messina rice arancini, original recipe

Today's recipe is in my heart always: are the messina rice arancini. This time arancini are male, I can say with force, because this is a variant of the Sicilian rice arancines of Palermo completely and totally "made in Messina". I invite you anyway to try my recipe for TRADITIONAL RAGU RICE ARANCINI’ of course and that of WHITE RICE ARANCINE WITH HAM AND CHEESE. Us, in Messina, we make them a pyramidal shape and call them arancini.

Arancine Palermo and Messina arancini, Differences

Three main differences with cousins of ​​Palermo: risotto is mixed with a few tablespoons of the most liquid part of the sauce, so as to obtain inside the traditional pinkish color, And still, the use of mortadella within the arancini. Finally, the form, which is that of an extremely elongated cone and tapered at the top. I assure you that every Messina who left his city has in his heart jealously guarded ritual dell'arancino purchased and eaten on the ferryboat, while he is approaching the shore of Sicily, as he returns home.

Unfortunately, as is the case for pythons Messina and for the Focaccia MESSINESE, today to find the perfect arancino in Messina is very difficult, mainly because of the risotto, often much, much beyond the point of cooking. In any case, some good arancino rice still lies, in the ferryboat (although not always) or in the bakery Laganà. But if you love the kitchen of my island, I invite you to experience it at home peering among all my SICILIAN RECIPES.

That being said, if you are not from Messina I still urge you to try to make the Messina rice arancini at home: If you are not experienced, I suggest that you give up the conical shape in favor of the traditional round shape (look at the TUTORIAL VIDEO RECIPE of my butter arancini and do the same shape, identical movement). I recommend, use the recipe of the original arancini from Messina with love. Have a good day.

ARANCINI TO MESSINESE (original recipe)

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  • 500 grams of Carnaroli rice
  • extra virgin olive oil as required
  • a small shallot
  • 100 grams of shredded PDO parmigiano reggiano
  • 60 grams of butter
  • a pich of Saffron
  • salt to taste
  • a few tablespoons of the liquid part of the meat sauce
  • 120 grams of ground beef
  • 120 grams of minced veal
  • 120 grams of minced pork
  • half carrot
  • half an onion
  • a stalk of celery
  • two tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 350 ml of tomato puree
  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • a clove
  • a bay leaf
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 200 ml of red wine
  • 100 grams peas already boiled in salted water
  • 200 grams of scamorza or provolone cheese
  • 150 grams of PGI mortadella in a single slice
  • flour, to taste
  • breadcrumbs, to taste
  • 2 egg whites and 1 whole egg
  • Salt, to taste
  • peanut oil for frying, to taste


Arancini Messina style

To prepare the recipe for arancini to Messina, we start from the MEAT SAUCE’ of course, I suggest you prepare it a day in advance. Remember that the sauce for arancini to Messina should not be as thick as that of the original arancine Palermo with meat sauce, but a little’ more liquid, because some of the sauce will also be used to flavor the risotto. Finely chop carrot, onion and celery and saute in a pan with extra virgin olive oil for 10 minutes. Combine in small doses the minced meat, rosolandola well before adding the other. Then, add the tomato paste and wine and let evaporate the alcohol. Finally, pour into the meat sauce tomato sauce, add the bay leaf, salt and cook over low heat and covered for at least two hours. Allow to cool completely and store the sauce in the refrigerator, better if all night. Is’ important that each component of the arancini Messina is cool, this will help you a lot when you have to make arancini.

For the Risotto for arancini to Messina: Chop the shallot and let it dry in the pan with extra virgin olive oil, add the rice Carnaroli, Toast the rice for a few minutes and then deglaze with the white wine. When the alcoholic portion of the wine has evaporated, begin cooking the risotto by adding heat and light vegetable broth in which you have dissolved saffron. Cook the rice as if it were a normal risotto, but the cooking issues should be minimal, lower by at least 10 minutes to those of a normal risotto, so I suggest you cook the rice for 10 minutes: risotto arancini for Messina must be very dry, because then it will be topped off with the liquid part of ragout, but extremely al dente.

Stir the rice with butter and Parmesan and add a few tablespoons of the liquid part of the sauce: the result should be a pinkish color from rice. Spread the risotto for arancini alla messinese on a chopping board or a tray in a thin layer and let it cool completely (at least 3 hours, but all night keeping it in the refrigerator).

Cut the sausage and cheese into cubes, Boil the peas in a little lightly salted water and drain them carefully.

Composition of arancini: take a little’ risotto and, holding it in the Palm of your hand, derive a flat sheet with a thickness of about one centimeter. Place in the middle slightly’ of meat sauce, add some mortadella, cheese and peas . Then, take another portion of risotto and place it over the filling, crushing arancina between hands to form a pyramid. I admit that the traditional form of arancini messinesi, a very elongated pyramid upwards, it is pretty hard to do. I suggest you, then, to make the round arancini, especially if you are not very expert in the field. To make the classic round arancini, you have to press the kumquat between your hands to form a ball the size of a tennis ball, adding a little’ risotto if necessary so as not to drive out the stuffing.

For the breading of arancini prepare some flour, two egg whites and whole egg well beaten and slightly salted and some breadcrumbs. Put arancini in the flour, then in beaten egg and finally in breadcrumbs. Fry arancini in peanut oil to 160 degrees (have you bought the thermometer? I never tire of suggest it): considered a cooking time of about 6-8 minutes for arancino, needed to melt and spin the cheese inside, not making overly darken the crust. And now, enjoy your arancini from Messina. Bon appétit!

THE PAIRING: Bianca di Valguarnera, IGT Sicily Terre, vintage 2017, produced by Duca di Salaparuta. A white made from grapes Insolia, obtained from a careful selection of grapes, vinified in oak barrels and aged in wood. An important white wine, that for its olfactory and aromatic complexity (evident notes of vanilla and ripe fruit), It can be matched easily to a substantial dish like croquettes to Messina. To try and serve to temperature of about 13 degrees.

Messina rice arancini, original recipe


You can fry the arancini immediately or store in the refrigerator: in the second case, pass them again in bread crumbs before frying. Yet, some use a breading without eggs, made with a batter of flour and water in which is dipped the kumquat before being passed in the breadcrumbs. A me non convince, but it is an excellent solution for those who are allergic to egg protein.

Messina rice arancini, original recipe

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Antonella 1 March 2020 at 17:57

Hi Ada, thank you very much for this scrumptious recipe; to date, among many try, is the only one that makes me feel at home even while away km. I wanted to ask your advice about rice: using the Carnaroli risotto is very grainy and at the time of giving the pyramidal or rounded shape, I find it difficult to compact everything. Do you have some suggestions?
Thank you for your courtesy and kindness.

Ada Parisi 2 March 2020 at 12:51

Hello Antonella. And big thanks. Then, what I look for in a kumquat is just a very grainy risotto which guarantees me a cooking resistance perfectly al dente, if you want a laugh that more starch face and you can use a more compact Arborio. A warm greeting


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