About a year ago I became good friends with a couple from Palermo, Sicily named Simona and Fabrizio. They recently got married and have moved here to the US to go to school and work. One evening Simona and Fabrizio invited me over to their apartment to have Arancini in honor of a special Saint's day called "Santa Lucia" (my mother's name day). This day is celebrated on the 13th of December. Simona told me that in Palermo one of the traditional ways they celebrate this day is by making many many Arancini Balls and then eating them until they are too full to move! She said her friends back home were already competing on who had eaten the most. I was honored to be asked to enjoy this treat with her and her husband on this day and more than willing to do my share of eating!
Simona and Fabrizio spent Christmas day at my house with my husband and brother and we made Arancini together along with a few other goodies. She shared her family recipe for making Arancini the Sicilian way and we had a lot of fun cooking and of course eating together! Simona said she loves to make hers with Prosciutto Cotto (Ham) and Mozzarella, but once you make the base, you can add anything you like to it! So here it is...Simona's Sicilian recipe for Arancini!
*Note- she doesn't have an exact recipe, so I did my best to write down the amounts she used.
Please Click Here for Printable Recipe:
Ingredients: Makes about 25 Arancini
|Not Pictured: Butter and Olive Oil|
- 4 Cups of Arborio Risotto Rice
- About 12 Cups of Chicken Broth (You may or may not use all of the broth)
- About 7 oz of Prosciutto Cotto, Sliced Thin (Regular Plain Ham)
- 8 Oz. of Fresh Mozzarella Cheese
- 1 Cup of Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
- 2 TBSP of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 6 TBSP of Unsalted Butter
- 4-5 cups of Unseasoned Breadcrumbs
- 4 Eggs (may need more)
- Vegetable or Canola Oil for Deep Frying
- Dice the Ham, set aside.
- Dice the Mozzarella, set aside.
- In a saucepan bring the broth to a simmer and keep it warm for making the Risotto.
- Get a large pan, and add 2 TBSP of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and the Arborio Rice. Stir for about 1 minute.
- While continually stirring, begin adding the hot broth in 1/2 cup increments, allowing the liquid to become completely absorbed before adding more broth (This process is very important as you do not want to add all the broth at once like you would with regular white rice).
- Cook until the rice is just tender (al dente) and the risotto is creamy. This process takes time about 20-30 minutes, so be patient!
- Once the Risotto is Al Dente, turn off the heat and add the Butter. Stir until melted and blended.
- Now add the Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese and mix.
- Add about 1/2 of the Diced Mozzarella and 1/2 of the Diced Ham to the Risotto and mix well.
- Let the Risotto Cool down for about 30-45 minutes to Room Temperature (If you are planning on making this the next day, then you can cover it up and put it in the fridge)
- Once the Risotto has cooled, Set up your breading and stuffing Station.
- Get a bowl or plate and Beat the eggs in it
- Get another bowl or Plate for the Breadcrumbs
- Have the remaining Diced Ham and Mozzarella also out and ready.
- Have a bowl with some water ready (this prevents the Risotto from sticking to your hand when you roll them).
- Now it is time to assemble the Arancini!
- With slightly wet hands, Take about 3-4 TBSP of Risotto (You can make them any size you like)
- Make a hole it it with your two fingers and add some Diced Mozzarella and Diced Ham to the middle.
- Close the hole back up and Roll it into a Ball or Pear Shape.
- Coat it in the Egg Mixture and then in the Breadcrumbs and place on a Cookie Sheet.
- Continue this Process with the remaining Risotto.
- When you have finished, the next step it to fry them up!
- Pour Vegetable or Canola oil in a Medium Saucepan, about 4 inches Deep.
- Get the Oil Very Hot, about 360 Degrees F
- Once the Oil is hot, Add the Arancini, about 2 at a time to the Hot Oil
- Fry for About 1-2 minutes or until lightly golden brown and remove with a slotted Spoon.
- Place the Arancini on tray lined with Paper Toweling to Absorb some of the Oil.
~Enjoy your Arancini Hot and Crispy!