Sicilian Rice Balls, also known as Arancini di Siciliani are incredible, flavorful and treasured from first bite. Simply delicious! Rice balls are made throughout southern Italy, each area making its own unique variety. Others include ground beef, plain mozzarella, beef or lamb with peas, and other ingredients. These delicacies may be served as a main course, perfect for luncheon, but also as an appetizer or side dish.
- 1 Cup Arborio rice
- 3 large eggs
- salt, to taste
- freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/4 Cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- 1/4 Cup diced mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 Cup diced prosciutto or ham (about 2 ounces)
- 3 Tablespoons finely-minced fresh parsley
- 2 Cups fresh bread crumbs; toasted
- 1/4 Cup homemade tomato sauce
- peanut oil; for deep-frying
- In a saucepan, bring 2 1/2 Cups water to a boil. Add the rice and cook for 15 minutes. The rice should still be quite firm. Drain and transfer to a bowl.
- Lightly beat one of the eggs and add to the rice, along with the grated cheese, parsley, 2 tablespoons of the tomato sauce, and salt and pepper. Mix well. Chill the mixture in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes. In another bowl, mix the mozzarella cheese, prosciutto or ham, and the remaining 2 tablespoons tomato sauce.
- With floured hands, divide the rice mixture into 8 or 10 portions and roll each portion into a ball the size of a small orange. Poke a hole into the center of each ball with your finger and insert about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the mozzarella mixture. Reshape and smooth the balls to enclose the filling.
- In a shallow dish, beat the remaining 2 eggs. Spread the bread crumbs on a separate plate. Dip the balls into the eggs, turning to coat them thoroughly. Roll the balls in the bread crumbs to coat them evenly. Then let them dry on a plate for about 45 minutes.
- In a deep fryer or deep heavy pan, heat the peanut oil to 375 degrees. Use a candy thermometer to monitor the temperature, keeping it consistent. Fry the balls until they are golden brown on all sides. Drain them on brown paper and serve immediately, with lemon wedges or the fresh tomato sauce.
Exchanges: 12 1/2 Grain(Starch); 2 1/2 Lean Meat; 2 Fat.
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