Recipe - How to make Sicilian Arancini with meat ragù
Introduction to the recipe
Arancini with meat ragù are by far the most traditional and well-known throughout Sicily. Every city and family has its own variant. As with pasta al forno (oven-baked pasta), some prefer it with a simple ragù sauce, while others love to add cheese, ham or hard-boiled eggs.
To achieve the best possible results with these arancini, we recommend preparing a ragù sauce that is thick and concentrated. In addition to being more flavourful, it will make it easier to mould the arancini, because the sauce will not make the rice overly moist.
Ingredients for about 12 arancini
- 500 grams of rice ("Roma" and "Originario" rices, mixed in equal doses)
- 1.1 liter of vegetable stock
- 2 bags of saffron
- 10 grams of salt
- 60-100 grams of butter
For the finish:
- 100 gr of flour
- 180 ml of water
- 2 eggs
- 150 gr of bread crumbs
For the filling:
- 200 gr of minced pork
- 200 gr of minced veal
- 100 gr of peas
- ½ onion
- 3 tablespoons of tomato concentrate
- ½ glass of white wine
- extra virgin olive oil
- black pepper
Preparation of rice and filling
How to prepare the rice:
- In a saucepan, put the broth, the butter, the saffron and the salt
- When the stock is boiling, add the rice and mix well
- Cover and cook over low heat until the rice absorbs all the broth and is cooked but al dente
- When cooked, stir, pour the rice on a cold surface and spread evenly to allow rapid cooling
- When the rice is cool down, it is ready to prepare the arancini
It is important to let the rice dry well during cooking. It should not be too hot or too wet, or it could stick to the mold.
For more informations about rice, Click here.
- Finely chop the onion and fry in a oil thread
- Add the minced pork and veal and brown over high heat
- Add the peas and mix well
- Add some white wine and let it reduce
- Dissolve the tomato concentrate in a glass of water and add to the meat
- Lower the heat, add salt and pepper and cook until the stock is creamy, then turn off the heat and allow to cool
- Shape the arancini and put in the freezer a couple of hours before passing the arancini in the batter
How to shape the arancini
How to frying the arancini
The finishing touch
Put the arancini in the batter and in the bread crumbs as follows:
- In a bowl, place the flour
- Add the egg and water and beat well with whips
- When the batter is smooth and dense, pass the arancini
- Immediately after having passed them in the batter, pass the arancini in bread crumbs
- Fry in plenty of oil until golden brown, to ensure your arancini fry up perfectly, use one of the following oils: peanut oil, olive oil, or palm oil.
- Heat the oil to the ideal temperature, 190°C, either in a frying pan or by setting the temperature on your deep fryer.
- If using a pan, you can make sure that the oil has reached the proper temperature by dropping in a bread crumb. If it sizzles, then the oil is ready.
- Immerse the arancini gently in the oil, only a few at a time, so as to prevent the temperature of the oil from falling too low.
- When they are done, place the arancini on absorbent paper, then serve.
- Serve the arancini with sauce on the side.
Enjoy your arancini!
You can make your ragù richer by adding a cheese that melts well or, as is the tradition in some cities, hard-boiled eggs and ham.
To make your sauce creamier and sweeter, substitute the tomato paste with about 300 ml of cherry-tomato purée.
The most common variant of the traditional arancino uses a filling made from ground meat and tomato. However, in the past it was very common to use a sort of thick stew, much like French ragoût (“A dish consisting of chunks of meat and vegetables cooked in a sauce”), which is, in fact, the source of the Italian word ragù. The French noun is derived from the verb ragoûter, which means “to enhance the flavour (goût)”. Such a filling does, indeed, enhance our arancini to perfection.
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- Arancinotto Staff