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Sicilian rice balls with pistachio

With mortadella and stringy cheese

by Ada Parisi
5 min read
Arancini di riso al pistacchio

The Sicilian rice balls with pistachio Homemade sThat is why it is so important traditional Sicilian recipe and, to be precise, Catania. In fact, the small town of Catania is part of the province of Catania. Bronte, on Mount Etna, production territory of the famous green pistachio of Bronte Dop. To Bronte, every year, takes place the pistachio festival of Bronte, where you can taste many Sicilian recipes who have the Pistachio as a protagonist. Among these recipes, the Arancini with pistachio I'm one of the most loved. And they are really very simple to do, as you can see in the VIDEO RECIPE.

Today you can find them everywhere in Catania, but also in the rest of Sicily. I still remember in Messina the trays of arancini differentiated by taste and shape: round and large the traditional ARANCINI AL RAGU’ , round but smaller the ARANCINI BUTTER, pyramidal the ARANCINI TO MESSINESE and oval the pistachio arancini. All more or less traditional arancini: but have you ever tried the ARANCINI ALLA NORMA, those with TALEGGIO CHEESE AND CRISPY BACON or those WITH GORGONZOLA AND WALNUTS?

Is’ true that by now we are all looking for CHRISTMAS RECIPES AND MENUS, But I wanted to interpret Pistachio rice balls My way to celebrate Saint Lucia, celebrated on December 13. On this date in Sicily you do not eat flour-based foods, but only rice, Chickpea flour (So what PANELLE function ) and cooked wheat: the typical recipe of the festivities of Saint Lucia is the SICILIAN KENNEL (if you are curious about the story of Saint Lucia you will find it in the recipe of the cuccìa), a typical Sicilian dessert based on ricotta, sugar, candied fruits and cooked wheat that elsewhere on the island also has a salty version such as cooked wheat soup and vegetables.

Pistachio or pistachio of Bronte?

As you may have realized by now I love pistachio very much. Today it seems that all the pistachio around is from Bronte Dop, but of course so it's not. In fact, there are many pistachios of excellent quality, like stigliano's, in Basilicata. It must be considered that not all Bronte pistachios have a Protected Designation of Origin (DOP). For it to be, it must be called “Green pistachio by Bronte Dop” and put the European PDO protection mark back on the packaging. Whereas if it is “Pistachio” means either that the manufacturer has not claimed the PDO or, more often, that these are pistachios from other sources but processed in Bronte.

Now, I interpreted the pistachio arancini by making a Pistachio risotto, with cream and grains, topped with grated cheese and butter. For filling I chose a very creamy stracchino and cubes of mortadella, in my opinion one of the best combinations with pistachio. I've created Oval arancini, but if you want you can just round them. At this point I'll leave you to the recipe: have a look at all my RECIPES WITH PISTACHIOS, how PISTACHIO LASAGNE, easy, fast and good, to save for christmas menus. And to all my ARANCINI OF RECIPES and at SICILIAN RECIPES. Have a good day and have a good St. Lucia!
Pistachio rice arancini

Arancini di riso al pistacchio


Portions: 6 Preparation: cooking:
Nutrition facts: 250 calories 20 fat
Rating: 4.4/5
( 9 voted )



600 grams of Carnaroli rice

one shallot

extra virgin olive oil

100 milliliters of Prosecco Docg

salt and pepper

vegetable broth

50 grams of butter

100 grams of grated Parmesan and/or pecorino cheese

100 grams of unso salted pistachios or pure pistachio paste

50 grams of chopped pistachio

200 grams of cubed mortadella

250 grams of stracchino cheese or soft cheese



double zero flour

4 whole eggs

a pinch of salt

peanut oil or high oleic sunflower oil for frying


To prepare pistachio rice arancini you have to start with pistachio risotto. I suggest you prepare the risotto a few hours in advance and store it in the refrigerator. You can also store arancini, already formed, in the refrigerator for one night so it's easier to pack them the next day.

FOR RICE: Finely chop the onion, brown it in extra virgin olive oil and little water until it is withered. Add the rice and toast it for a few minutes over low heat, stirring occasionally. Blend with Prosecco Docg or another sparkling wine and let the alcoholic part evaporate. Then add some of the hot broth and a little salt and continue cooking as if it were a normal risotto, adding the broth gradually. Remember, though, that to get a rice that stays al dente inside the arancini, you'll have to cook it about half the usual time.

When the rice will still be very al dente and well dense, stop cooking. Fire off, add the neutral pistachio paste and grain, butter and grated cheese. Keep and then adjust salt if necessary. Pour the risotto into two serve plates and spread it as thin as possible, so that the heat disperses. Cover with food film and let cool completely. Store if necessary in the refrigerator.

When the rice is cold, put a small amount of it on the palm of your hand and crush well as you see in the VIDEO RECIPE of the arancini with ragout. Put a generous teaspoon of stracchino in the center of the rice, different cubes of mortadella, a pinch of black pepper and some pistachio grains. Cover with more rice and compact the arancino in your hands, gently pressing, so that it does not come out stuffed and the orange is externally a compact wall of rice.

All arancini completed, I suggest you put them for a few hours, or even all night. Once cold, put the flour in three wide plates with a pinch of salt, the grated bread and the beaten eggs with a spoonful or two of water and a pinch of salt. Carefully wrap the pistachio rice arancini first in the flour, then in the beaten eggs (check that they are completely covered with egg) and finally in breadcrumbs, gently pressing so that it adheres well.

Fry pistachio rice arancini in plenty of peanut seed or high oleic sunflower oil, at the correct temperature of 165-170 degrees (you need the usual kitchen thermometer that I recommend you from geological eras to buy) so that the arancini cook slowly, in about 5 minutes, to give the cheese time to melt. Taste the arancini immediately, and Bon Appetit!

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maite the Basque August 3, 2021 - 12:44

Hello, thanks for these recipes.
In fact , for the anecdote , it is by looking for arancini recipes ( following Commissioner Montalbano's soap opera ! … ) that I discovered your blog.
Since then I am inspired by it a lot.
all my friendships Maïté

Ada Parisi August 21, 2021 - 17:01

Bonjour Maité, Thank you. If you want to find inspiration with Montalbano you have to prove the recipe of the “Pasta incasciata alla Messinese”, who you find in the blog.


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