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Rice arancini with meatball sauce

by Ada Parisi
5 min read
Arancini di riso ripieni di polpette

Today still a variation on the theme rice arancini: after the ARANCINI TO MESSINESE and those PISTACHIO here are the Sicilian rice arancini with meatball sauce. A sort of ragout arancino but with an added sin of throat: inside the arancino contains small and soft meatballs cooked in tomato sauce. I seasoned the risotto with the sauce and added to the meatball filling also spun cheese and peas. And here are my rice arancini for this Christmas.

Rice arancini and Sicilian menus for Christmas

At Christmas, In fact, in Sicily tradition wants you to eat arancini, obviously in addition to pantagruelici menu that I'll tell you in my article CHRISTMAS IN SICILY, CHRONICLE OF A semi-serious FEAST. My grandmother used to say rice brings money. I can say for sure that's not true, because I eat a lot of it but I only gained a few kilos. But I like to respect tradition and so I prepare them every year in a different version. Among all my ARANCINI OF RECIPES you will surely find a recipe of rice arancini that inspires you. I know you're doing them in so many, and I'm happy about that. Is, in general, you can peek through the CHRISTMAS RECIPES AND MENUS to find ideas and inspirations for the upcoming holidays, that announce themselves so different from the usual.

Indeed, If you want, you can put one or two types of arancini in the Sicilian menus that I processed for Christmas: take a look at the Christmas menu 2018 and to that of 2019.

Meatball sauce rice arancini are only slightly more laborious than those traditional meat sauce
because you have to make so many really small meatballs, big when a hazelnut. Once the meatballs are fried, you have to cook them in tomato sauce. Risotto is also tomato, because after an initial cooking in the broth, you add the sauce of the meatballs.

the result, though, will repay you for these little labors: these arancini are delicious, a triumph of taste and everyone will love them, Believe me. As always, I suggest you prepare sauce and risotto a few hours in advance, so that they are well cold when you have to form the arancini. You can also make arancini and leave them all night in the refrigerator. The day after the final stage, that of the breadsmatter, won't give you any trouble.

And if you still have doubts about how to make a perfect arancino, have a look at VIDEO RECIPE step by step and you'll see that it's not that hard. And now I wish you good day.

Rice arancini stuffed with meatballs

Arancini di riso ripieni di polpette


Portions: 6 Preparation: cooking:
Nutrition facts: 250 calories 20 fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )



100 grams of ground beef

100 grams of minced veal

100 grams of ground pork

half beaten egg

a piece of stale bread or a spoonful of grated bread

half an onion

some parsley leaf

a clove of garlic

750 ml of tomato puree

extra virgin olive oil, to taste

salt and pepper, to taste

a small piece of chili pepper (Optional)


100 grams peas already boiled in salted water

150 grams of taleggio or other soft cheese


500 grams of Carnaroli rice

extra virgin olive oil, to taste

half shallots100 grams of grated Parmigiano Reggiano DOP

30 grams of grated Sicilian pecorino cheese

60 ml white wine

60 grams of butter

salt and pepper, to taste

vegetable broth, to taste

the sauce of meatballs, to taste


flour, to taste

breadcrumbs, to taste

3 eggs

Salt, to taste

peanut oil for frying, to taste


FOR MEATBALLS WITH SAUCE: before preparing the rice arancini with meatball sauce you must prepare the meatballs with sauce. The process is very simple: place in a bowl the ground beef, the bread wet in the water and well squeezed, the beaten egg, little chopped parsley, a spoonful of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, salt and pepper and knead until you get a homogeneous mixture. Form many very small meatballs (you'll just need a little bit of meat) and pass in the grated bread. Fry the meatballs in hot peanut seed oil (a few seconds will be enough), drain them and set them aside.

For the tomato sauce, Finely chop the onion, brown it in a pan in extra virgin olive oil together with the chilli and add the tomato sauce. Salt and cook covered for 15 minutes, then add the fried meatballs, cover and cook for another 20-30 minutes or so.

Once the sauce meatballs are ready, you can make risotto. I suggest you prepare it 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 white 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. Absorbed the first part of broth, add some meatball sauce. Continue cooking by adding sauce and little broth, until you get a thick, extremely al dente risotto: to get the rice that remains al dente inside the arancini, you'll have to cook the risotto about half the usual time.

When the rice is ready, over a low heat combine the butter and parmesan cheese , adjust salt if necessary and mix well. Pour the risotto into two serve plates and spread it as thin as possible. Cover with food film and let cool completely. Store if necessary in the refrigerator.
Rice arancini stuffed with meatballs

When the risotto for the arancini will be cold, put a small amount of it on the palm of your hand and crush as you can see in the VIDEO RECIPE of the arancini with ragout. Put in the center of the rice 3-4 meatballs with their sauce, peas and cheese cut into small cubes. 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 compact on the outside.

Once all the arancini have been formed, store them for at least 3-4 hours in the refrigerator. You can also leave them in the refrigerator all night, so kneading them will be much easier. 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. Wrap the rice arancini stuffed with meatball sauce first in the flour, then evenly in the beaten eggs and finally in the grated bread, gently pressing so that it adheres well.

Fry the arancini in abundant peanut seed oil or high oleic sunflower oil, at the correct temperature of 165-170 degrees (you need the usual kitchen thermometer, or you've already bought it?) so that the arancini cook slowly, in about 5 minutes, to give the cheese time to melt. Enjoy rice arancini stuffed with hot meatballs (but they're good even cold), and Bon Appetit!


MATCHING: The Sands of White Etna, Etna Doc by Cantina Firriato. A lively and mineral white, obtained from Carricante and Catarratto grapes, which are the symbolic varieties of Etna viticulture. A wine of great freshness and at the same time deep, ideal to accompany the fried and structured enough to support a recipe as complex as the arancini with sauce. Da servire a una temperatura attorno ai 10 gradi.

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