Fried Rice Snacks (Arancine con Ragu)

8 servings
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 tablespoons plus 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 red onion, chopped into 1/8-inch dice
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup freshly grated pecorino
  • 2 eggs, separated, plus 2 more yolks
  • 2 cups ragu Napoletano, recipe follows
  • 1 bunch fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • Recipe copyright 2000, Mario Batali. All rights reserved
  • 1/2 pound veal, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 pound beef chuck, cut into chunks
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup red wine
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans peeled San Marzano tomatoes and juices, passed through a food mill
  • 1/2 pound sweet Italian sausages
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch hot chili flakes
  • In a 4 to 6 quart saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil until just smoking. Add half the chopped red onion and saffron and cook until softened, about 7 to 9 minutes. Add rice and chicken stock and bring to boil, uncovered. Cook until the liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, about 25 minutes. Spread the rice out to cool on a large cookie sheet, about 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch thick.

  • When the rice is cool, place it in a bowl and mix in the pecorino, 2 eggs, and 2 yolks and set aside.

  • In a 10 to 12-inch saute pan, cook the remaining chopped onion in 2 tablespoons olive oil until light golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add ragu and basil and cook 5 to 7 minutes, until reduced by one third and quite thick. Set aside and allow to cool.

  • Place the dusting flour, egg whites and bread crumbs in separate shallow bowls and lightly beat the egg whites. To form the arancine, place 3 tablespoons of the rice mixture in palm of hand and make an indentation with the back of a spoon. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the ragu mixture into the indentation and form an open bowl out of the rice in your hand. Cover the filled portion with another tablespoon of the rice mixture and, using both hands, shape the rice into a ball. Continue with the remaining rice mixture and stuffing until done.

  • In a large, heavy-bottomed skillet, heat the remaining 1 cup of oil until almost smoking. While the oil heats, dust the rice balls in the flour, then the egg whites, then the bread crumbs and cook in the oil until golden brown all over. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels and serve with the remaining ragu.

  • In a large pasta pot or Dutch oven, combine the veal, beef, onion and oil over high heat and cook until meat is seared on all sides and meat juices have evaporated, 10 to 12 minutes.

  • Add the wine and cook, stirring constantly, until wine evaporates and meat is darker brown, about 5 minutes.

  • Stir in the tomatoes, sausage, salt and chili flakes. Reduce heat to simmer and cook 2 1/2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally and skimming fat as necessary.

  • Remove from heat and remove sausage from ragu, chop and return to ragu. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

  • Yield: 4 cups, for 8 pasta servings

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