Aranchino Siciliano -- Sicilian Rice Balls




5 cups uncooked Aborio Rice
1/2 lb. each, beef, veal and pork
(each meat should be in one piece.)
4 tbsp. extra virgin Olive Oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 md. onion, minced
1/2 lb. mushrooms, chopped
2 tbsp. tomato paste
4 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
2 tbsp. oregano, chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 cup butter
8 tbsp. Parmesan Cheese
4 lg. eggs
2 cups breadcrumbs, unseasoned
2 cups extra virgin Olive Oil


Cook the rice according to package directions, until creamy. Cook meat pieces in tomato sauce until tender. Meanwhile, put garlic, onion, and oil in fry pan and saute until brown. Add mushroom and cook a bit longer until mushrooms are tender. Add salt and pepper to taste. When meat is tender grind to a fairly fine consistency. Add tomato paste as needed to make a thick coarse paste. Add mushrooms and onion mixture and just enough of the sauce to keep the meat mixture moist. Add parsley and oregano, keeping moist. Set aside. To the creamy rice, add butter and parmesan cheese. Allow to cool. To the cooled rice add the eggs and mix well and set aside. Make meatballs out of the meat mixture about 1 to 1½ inches in diameter. Set aside. T he cooled rice should be thick with eggs, cheese and butter. Take a handful of the rice mixture in the palm of one hand and form a “half ball”. Insert a meatball into the
indentation of the rice. Take another handful of rice to complete the ball. Round and smooth out the rice to the size of an orange. When all are formed, roll each ball gently first in an egg/milk wash, then in the breadcrumbs. Allow the breaded rice balls to dry completely. When dry, fry a few at a time in olive oil,
until nicely browned. Drain on absorbent toweling. Serve warm or at room temperature. If served warm, aerve tomato sauce on the side for dipping.

Author's Comments

This was my paternal Grandmother, Rosa’s recipe that she brought over from Palermo when she immigrated in 1901, with two small children. They would be, eventually, my Aunt Lena and Uncle Dominic. My father would tell how she would make them sometimes with nutmeg and raisins then sprinkled with sugar and served cold for a sweet treat.

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