Here’s a traditional recipe for making classic Italian rice balls
Ingredients Italian Rice Balls
- 2 cups Arborio rice (risotto rice)
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese (cut into small cubes)
- 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup dry white wine (optional)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup cooked peas (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- Vegetable oil (for deep frying)
Instructions Italian rice balls
1/ In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and garlic, sauté until they become translucent.
2/ Add the Arborio rice to the saucepan and stir it well to coat it with the oil. Toast the rice for a minute or two until it starts to turn slightly golden.
3/ If using white wine, pour it into the saucepan and stir until it is mostly absorbed by the rice.
4/ Gradually add the chicken or vegetable broth to the rice, one cup at a time, stirring constantly. Allow the rice to absorb the broth before adding more. Continue this process until the rice is cooked al dente, which should take about 15-20 minutes.
5/ Remove the saucepan from heat, and stir in the butter and grated Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Let the rice mixture cool down for about 15-20 minutes.
6/ Once the rice has cooled, take a handful of rice and flatten it in your palm. Place a cube of mozzarella and some cooked peas (if using) in the center of the flattened rice.
7/ Carefully shape the rice around the filling, forming a ball. Ensure the filling is completely covered with rice. Repeat this process with the remaining rice and filling.
8/ Dip each rice ball into the beaten eggs, coating them evenly.
9/ Roll the coated rice balls in breadcrumbs, making sure they are fully covered.
10/ Heat vegetable oil in a deep frying pan or a deep fryer to about 350°F (175°C).
11/ Fry the rice balls in batches until they turn golden and crispy on the outside, usually about 3-4 minutes per batch.
12/ Remove the fried rice balls using a slotted spoon and place them on a plate lined with paper towels to drain excess oil.
Serving Italian Rice Balls
Arancini (Italian Rice Balls) are best served warm. Accompany them with marinara sauce or your favorite dipping sauce for a delightful taste experience.
Your delicious Italian rice balls (Arancini) are now ready to serve! They are best enjoyed while still warm and can be served with marinara sauce or any other dipping sauce of your choice.
Tips and Tricks for Making Delicious Italian Rice Balls (Arancini)
Rice Selection: Use Arborio rice or any other short-grain rice variety. Arborio rice’s high starch content gives the rice balls a creamy texture when cooked.
Proper Cooked Rice: Ensure that the rice is cooked al dente and not overly mushy. The slightly firm texture will help the Italian Rice Balls hold their shape better.
Cooling the Rice: Allow the cooked rice to cool down before shaping it into balls. This helps the rice bind together and makes it easier to handle.
Wet Your Hands: Keep a small bowl of water nearby when shaping the rice balls. Wet your hands slightly to prevent the rice from sticking and make it easier to form the balls.
Filling: Get creative with fillings! Besides mozzarella, you can use other cheeses like fontina or gorgonzola. You can also add cooked ground meat, sautéed mushrooms, or spinach for more flavor variations.
Properly Encasing Fillings: Make sure the filling is fully enclosed within the rice to prevent leakage during frying. Add more rice if needed to cover any exposed filling.
Breadcrumb Coating: Roll the rice balls in breadcrumbs thoroughly to create a crispy outer layer when frying.
Freezing: If you want to make arancini ahead of time, you can freeze them after shaping but before frying. Lay them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, freeze until solid, and then transfer to a freezer bag. Fry them directly from frozen when needed.
Proper Frying: Use a deep-frying thermometer to maintain the oil temperature around 350°F (175°C). Fry the rice balls in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan, which can lead to uneven cooking.
Drain Excess Oil: After frying, place the arancini on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil.
Enjoy your homemade Italian rice balls, and impress your friends and family with this classic Sicilian snack! the Italian Rice Balls.
The nutrition facts for Italian rice balls also known as arancini, can vary based on the specific ingredients and serving size used in the recipe. Here’s a general overview of the nutritional information for a standard Italian rice balls (arancino) that is typically filled with cheese and sometimes meat or vegetables, per one rice ball.
Serving Size: 1 Italian rice balls (arancino)
Calories: Approximately 150-250 calories per rice ball
Total Fat: Around 5-15 grams per rice ball
Saturated Fat: About 2-6 grams per rice ball
Trans Fat: Typically negligible
Cholesterol: Approximately 10-30 milligrams per rice ball
Sodium: Roughly 200-400 milligrams per rice ball
Total Carbohydrates: About 20-35 grams per rice ball
Dietary Fiber: Around 1-2 grams per rice ball
Sugars: Typically less than 1 gram per rice ball
Protein: Approximately 5-10 grams per rice ball
These values can vary depending on factors such as the size of the rice ball, the type of cheese or fillings used, and whether it’s deep-fried or baked. Traditional arancini are often deep-fried, which can increase the calorie and fat content.
To get the most accurate nutrition information for your specific Italian rice ball recipe, it’s recommended to calculate it based on the exact ingredients and proportions you use. If you’re looking for a healthier option, you can consider baking the rice balls instead of frying them and using leaner fillings or smaller portions to reduce calorie and fat content.