I make several different types of rice balls but these are my absolute favorite. My husbands grandfather Giovanni Distria taught me how to make them over 30 years ago. He was born and raised in Napoli.
With peas and pork filling.
yields 12 large arancini (rice balls)
1/2 lb. ground pork
4 oz. frozen peas
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup of carrots finely chopped
1/4 cup of celery finely chopped
1 clove garlic grated
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup of water
Directions for making filling
Sauté onion, carrots, celery and garlic in olive oil for 5 mins, add ground pork, break meat up well, when cooked add tomato paste and white wine. Cook off wine. Add 1/4 cup of water. Add frozen peas. Simmer on very low for 1/2 hour. Let cool completely.
2 cups arborio rice
3 cups water
1 cup chicken stock
3/4 cup grated Parmesan
3/4 stick of butter
Salt and pepper to taste
Additional 1/4 cup of water
Directions for making the rice
* Add water, chicken stock and rice and salt to pot
* Bring to boil, cover tightly, simmer on lowest setting for 20 minutes.
* Remove from stove immediately stir in 3/4 stick butter and 3/4 cup of grated Parmesan plus pepper to taste.
* Let cool for at least 4 hours
* After 4 hours add 1/4 cup of water to cooled rice and mix well before forming balls.
Ingredients for assembling rice balls
* Meat filling
* Sticky Arborio rice
* 4oz of mozzarella or fontina cheese cut into 12 cubes.
* Cover left hand with a flat layer of the sticky rice, dip down palm to creat a crevice. Put a small spoon of filling in the crevice and a cube of the mozzarella or fontina cheese.
* Cup your hand to close the rice around the filling and form a ball. Make sure the ball is well sealed.
* Repeat till all the ingredients are gone.
Breading and frying
Enough peanut/ vegetable oil for deep frying. (I use peanut oil. It adds no flavour and has a very high burn temperature and it’s a natural product.)
1 1/2 cups of Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
1/2 cup of grated Parmesan
2 raw eggs well mixed
2 tablespoons of milk
Heat frying oil in a deep fat fryer to 375*
While oil is heating…
Put 2 eggs and 2 tablespoons of milk in a bowl and mix well with a fork.
In another bowl Mix 1 1/2 cups of Italian seasoned breadcrumbs with 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese
Roll rice balls in egg/milk mixture till fully coated and then roll well in the breadcrumbs till well coated
Repeat till all the rice balls are coated
Fry 4 balls at a time. It should take about 3-4 minutes. Remove and lay on paper towels to drain. Sprinkle with salt.
Enjoy plain or with marinara sauce on the side.