Ragu fried rice balls – Stuffed rice balls from Sicily

Today I present you the probably most popular street food of Sicily before: Arancini di riso. Arancini, what is it? This is to orange large (Arancino to German “small orange”) Stuffed rice balls, known now all over Italy and beyond. As one or the other attentive readers among you might know I have Sicilian roots and every year we visited for several weeks my grandparents on the island. Once we were on the island or in some cases even on the ferry there, I just had to buy a Arancino and hearty bite.

As the Mozzarella in a carriage is not for the figure conscious, because the rice balls are breaded and then fried again this finger food. I will not tell you, dear, how many calories a single Arancino 😉 has For this reason I have given to you for the recipe tips a variant for baking in the oven, but let's be honest: this is not the same! Now and then a Arancino but certainly no harm, the original is worthwhile in any case!

Arancini al ragù - the recipe for stuffed rice balls from Sicily

The right rice is essential

Thus the Arancini turn out perfectly, choosing the right rice is very important. In Italy can now be found rice varieties explicitly on their packaging “for Arancini” it says. I can hardly imagine that such special varieties in Germany are easy to get me however. But do not worry, there are enough alternatives so you can reach the right consistency of the balls.

It's best to use a rice for risotto as “Carnaroli” or a round-grain rice. Pay attention especially with risotto rice that this not overcooked, otherwise the subsequent forms and the final consistency of the balls are not ideal. Traditionally, the rice with saffron is yellow. Of course, you could do without the expensive spice, but the original recipe for candied orange saffron belongs necessarily in!

The choice of filling

If you buy in a Rosticceria or often in a bar in Sicily arancini, one is asked to rule whether this “bianchi” (White) or “rossi” (Red) wants. The white variety is usually with ham, peas, cheese, and depending on the region a little béchamel. Arancini, however rossi filled with ragù (mince and tomato sauce) and cheese. Compared to klassischen Bolognese Sauce are included in the Sicilian version peas. In the cheese a melting varieties such as mozzarella or scamorza is used.

Although these two fillings are the classic, there are now many alternatives that can not get anywhere. I myself have already tried vegetarian arancini with spinach and cheese, but also variants with shrimp and tomato sauce. So while filling you can be creative and combine different foods again. What is important here is that the filling is not too runny but nice and compact so that it does not leak from the meatballs.

On the form it comes in

If you see differently shaped rice balls in the counter of a Rosticceria, either tell you that this is related to the corresponding filling. So that the seller can distinguish the different variants that Arancini are shaped differently. Often these are either spherical, egg or pyramidal. However, the shape in terms of the filling is not standardized, so you do not get around to a friendly demands 🙂.

With its own production, the forms for many will be a bit of a challenge especially at the beginning. Again, only practice makes perfect. Do not be surprised by the way that the breading no egg, but a mixture of flour and water (“Batter”) is used. The reason: This batter is rather tasteless and the focus should lie completely on the filling and the rice.

Ragu fried rice balls
Total time

Ragu fried rice balls

Ingredients(20-25 pieces)

For the rice:

  • 200g Butter
  • 2l vegetable broth
  • 0, 2g Saffron
  • 25g salt
  • 1kg rice (risotto rice and short-grain rice)

For the filling:

  • 500g minced (mixed)
  • 1 tbs. olive oil
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 Selleriestange
  • 1 carrot
  • 200g frozen peas
  • 100ml red wine
  • 700ml tomato puree
  • Salt
  • 250g Mozzarella

For the coating:

  • 150g flour
  • about 225ml water
  • it. 200g Paniermehl
  • Frittieröl



  1. In a saucepan, bring the butter to melt and then add the vegetable stock, salt and saffron.
  2. Once the vegetable broth is cooking, fill in the rice and cook over low heat stirring regularly until the liquid is completely absorbed and the rice is cooked.
  3. Leave to cool the rice then. For this most evenly on a large board or platter.


  1. The ground beef fry, skim off the fat and set aside the pot first.
  2. Meanwhile, clean the vegetables, dice and fry in olive oil until everything is cooked.
  3. Then add the meat to the vegetables, briefly heat and deglaze with wine.
  4. After the liquid has evaporated that happened add tomatoes, a little salt and cook the meat sauce over low heat until the sauce has thickened properly. Again at the end add salt to taste.

Forms and completion:

  1. When the rice and the filling are completely cooled, the Arancini can be formed. enter the requested some rice in the curved palm and flatten, as add a tablespoon of filling and two dice mozzarella and seal everything with some rice. Using your hands to Arancino into a ball (about the size of a small orange) molds and set aside.
  2. Mix the flour with the water for the batter with a whisk in a bowl (to a thick, lumpy-free mass“Batter”) Stir.
  3. Evenly now with his hands the thing Pastella the rice balls and then roll them in bread crumbs, so that a well-proportioned batter is formed.
  4. Fry until golden brown, put on a laid-out with paper plates and enjoy hot: Finally, the arancini in the deep fryer (170 ° C temperature oil).

Important tips and information:

  • Both the rice, and the filling can be prepared in advance and processed until the next morning in the evening.
  • So that the rice does not stick to the hands in molding the rice balls, it is best to moisten this all the time with water.
  • The rice balls are formed and processed only 8-10 hours later, if they are not breaded. For this, simply place on a tray in the fridge and get it out 1 hour before breading.
  • The finished breaded, but not fried arancini can be frozen. So they do not stick together, freeze on a laid-out with baking paper plates for about 1 hour and only then decant into a container.
  • Make sure that you fried arancini not too many at the same time as the oil here cool down too much.
  • If you are not fans of fried food, you can watch the Arancini in the oven for about 25 minutes at 200 ° C (Preheat oven) baking. This should end up with a golden brown color. But beware: The taste is of course not the same thing!

Arancini al ragù - the recipe for stuffed rice balls from Sicily

How can you probably think this recipe is rather time consuming and not one of the fastest recipes here on the blog. I personally ready Arancini either on special occasions or celebrations before and then freezing this one, so I have a stock if me again the desire grabs it. If you're wondering what suits Arancini, then I can give you no real advice for this purpose, as they are usually simply eaten on Sicily so as an appetizer or as a snack.

Have you ever tried Arancini? Is this a recipe to your liking? Should I imagine an alternative filling? Tell me like your opinion on the comments 🙂

Bon Appetite

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