HOW TO MAKE SICILIAN ARANCINI – Italian Rice Balls


Hi, a huge welcome to Steve’s kitchen we have been visiting Sicily and I’ve had more arancini this week than I’ve had in my lifetime ,they are so delicious and there are quite a few variations in Sicily alone. I really like the ones that have saffron in the rice but not everybody’s got saffron the more common ones are the ragu arancini and this simple recipe is closer to what you might make at home. I’m going to share it with you today and I hope you’ll follow along and give arancini a try. We’re going to start with a very delicious simple ragu sauce it’s one of the most common arancini in Sicily, so let me show you how to make the sauce. In a pan I’m going to put two or three tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil, I’ve got about a quarter cup of finely diced onions, just going to pop that into the oil and we’re just going to sweat these onions for a minute or so. Then I’ve got 250 grams that’s about half a pound of beef mince and I’m going to cook this beef until it’s all browned I’ve finely diced one small carrot and one stick of celery it’s about half a cup I’m going to pop that in there, about a quarter of a teaspoon of black pepper, half a teaspoon of salt, you want to use a tomato paste concentrate. I’m using this Mutti brand and I’m going to add in about 3 tablespoons and I’m going to eyeball about a quarter of a glass of red wine, about a teaspoon of muscovado sugar and then to thicken this sauce because we want a nice creamy sauce, I’m going to take about a tablespoon maybe a little under of flour, all purpose flour and just sprinkle it over the top and about half a cup of water. Now we want this ragu to thicken on our stove top so I’m going to cook it for about 20-25 minutes until we’ve got a lovely thick rich ragu sauce. Now I almost forgot every single arancino I’ve had here in Sicily has got peas inside, so I’ve just got about half a cup ,frozen or fresh, peas and we’ll leave that to cook. Whilst our ragu is cooking we’re going to get on and cook our rice. I can get Arancini rice here in Sicily but you’ll be looking for something like an Arborio rice, if you can’t get hold of Arancino. In a deep pan we’re going to add another couple of tablespoons of olive oil, so we’ll add in to there, a cup of finely diced onions. We’re just going to sweat those down for a minute or so.Now I’m preparing 450 grams of rice here that’s there around about a pound we need to add to this double that by weight of water, so we’re using nine hundred milliliters of water, if this is a pound of rice we’re using about 32 fluid ounces. So my onions have sweated down I’m going to add in my water now I’ve got a vegetable stock cube which I’m just going to add in there, just break it up a little bit. Now over here you see the ragu’s started to colour up beautifully, what I want to do is take maybe four or five tablespoons of the reduced sauce and we’re using that in our water just to add a little extra seasoning and a little extra color. So we just want to bring this liquid up to a boil, as our water starts to boil I’m just going to take the rice now pop it in, give it one stir around and we want to cook that rice on a gentle heat now for 15 minutes and once the rice has absorbed the water it’s ready . Now at the back here you can see the ragu has thickened up beautifully, it’s got a nice rich color I’m just going to get a little bit of chopped up basil now I’m actually going to turn the ragu sauce off so it’s no longer cooking pop my basil in there I’m going to mix it in and we’re going to leave this ragu to cool down on the side. Almost all the water has been absorbed into the rice now I’m going to take that off the heat, now we want to put our rice onto a cold surface to cool down so I’m just going to take this out onto a baking tray and I’m going to spread this rice out across the tray because before we can form this to an arancino we have to have let it completely cool down. Now we’ve moved out into the courtyard here we had a bit of a rainstorm and the light is starting to fade but everything is now prepared and ready to go. Our rice has cool down I just moved it into a bowl, our ragu is looking fantastic, the last thing we want is some mozzarella cheese which I’ve actually just cut up into small cubes Now we’re going to form our arancino and I’m going for the tapered style, it’s a little tricky but I’ll show you how, it’s a good idea to wet your hands, have a little bowl of water, into there I’m just going to damp my hands over, not soaking wet. Over to our cold rice and I’m to grab myself a handful a fairly decent-sized handful, if you were doing the round arancini that’s the shape you’d be going for. Now compact it together and then I’m going to push my thumb in and I’m going to form a little dish shape. In the center of that I’m going to grab myself probably a little over a teaspoon of the ragu sauce and we’ve got to have that beautiful mozzarella in there, so I’m going to take a few chunks of mozzarella, push it in, take another piece of our rice just to use to plug it over. Now there are different ways to form the arancini, I’ve seen people doing it, I’ll show you the way I do it and then show you some other ideas. So I plugged the arancini over on that side and what I tend to do is use these two fingers to form the base of the arancini and I spin, spin it around so that it tapers to a point like that. Now some people they use it between the two hands and they sort of spin it around like that whichever way you decide to do, you’re looking for a little tapered Arancino like that. It would seem the weather here in Sicily doesn’t want to play fair with us and let us make these Arancini it’s raining outside anyway I finished we made seven arancini and we’re about to coat these up and fry them. Now some people here use a batter like an egg batter, with milk and flour it’s quite a loose batter and some people use just the egg and then roll it into the breadcrumbs. I found that the egg and breadcrumbs is a lighter batter and I prefer it, so Im going with that for these ones. It really is quite simple I’ve got a couple of eggs here, just going to beat them up and then going to take my arancino and I’m just going to roll it around in the egg, get a nice coating, over here I’ve got a tray of breadcrumbs, pop the arancino in there and then we’re going to lift those breadcrumbs over and give it a nice coating and then we’ll pop them back down on the plate. Now you will hear me say Arancini and Arancino it’s a little bit like oranges and orange arancini is plural and arancino is singular Even the name arancini is kind of fun hit means that Little Orange and you’ll see when they fry up they look like little oranges, Well these ones have a point some of them are round, some of them are spherical in shape and the reason they do that over here because there are different fillings inside,once you fill them you won’t know what’s in unless you make the shapes. Now the pointy ones are generally ragu I’ve got my oil on behind me I’m going to fry these in a fairly deep oil, it’s 175 celisus about 350 Fahrenheit so I want to drop these in one of the time, I can probably get two of these in the pan at one time, after they’ve been in there a few seconds we’re just going to knock them over and just continued to fry them until they’re beautiful golden brown or slightly orange. Now I’m going to lift that out of there now that’s beautiful and that’s the sort of coloring I’m looking for we don’t want super hot oil because we want to heat the arancini all the way through they look just great. Now look at those they are absolutely gorgeous, I’m really pleased with the way these have come out. They’re piping hot and I have to get some photographs but there’s no way I’m waiting for these to cool down because warm arancini are so good. So let me get one of these now, open it up and give it a taste test. Now I think these were the first ones out so they’re not so so hot. It’s got a lovely crumb on there, it’s not too thick and let’s just break this open and we’ve got that beautiful mozzarella cheese lovely stringy cheese there, woah! can’t even get it to break, it doesn’t matter how much I pull. I’m going in for the kill having a try of this, I hope you’ll get a chance to make these are home Arancini are fantastic, if you’re wondering why they’re so big, they are that big in Sicily, so if you want the real experience make them big. oh yeah, super yummy Sicilian arancini. So we’re going to get on and enjoy some warm arancini. If you like the video share the love, give me a thumbs up and I will see you for another great recipe on Steve’s Kitchen very shortly and don’t forget subscribe and comments down below, I love to hear what you have to say, be good.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *