Sal's Rice Balls (Arancini)

Total Time:
2 hr 20 min
20 min
1 hr
1 hr

15 rice balls

  • Filling:
  • 24 ounces canned plum tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 12 ounces frozen peas
  • Rice:
  • 3 1/2 quarts chicken stock
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron
  • 1 pound arborio rice
  • 8 ounces grated pecorino cheese
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • Breading:
  • 1 pound plain breadcrumbs
  • 6 ounces grated pecorino cheese
  • 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 pound all-purpose flour
  • 1 pound shredded mozzarella
  • 1 gallon canola oil
  • For the filling: Crush the tomatoes with an immersion blender.

  • In a 4-quart pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and saute for 3 minutes. Add the carrots and celery and cook until tender. Add the beef and pork and cook, breaking up the meat with a spoon, until browned. Add the crushed tomatoes, increase the heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Add the salt and pepper, reduce to a simmer and let cook for 20 minutes. Add the peas and simmer for 10 more minutes. Remove from the heat and spread on a baking sheet to cool.

  • For the rice: In a 6-quart pot, bring the chicken stock, butter, salt and saffron to a boil. Add the rice and simmer, uncovered, stirring 2 or 3 times, until tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 25 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the grated pecorino and black pepper. Stir to mix well. Spread on a baking sheet to cool.

  • For the breading: In a large bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, pecorino, salt and pepper.

  • For assembly: Place the eggs in a shallow bowl and the flour in another shallow bowl. Scoop some rice into 1 hand to make a half a ball. Add 1 teaspoon of the meat filling and 1 teaspoon of the shredded mozzarella. Add more rice on top to form into a ball. Dredge the rice ball in the flour, then the beaten egg and then in the seasoned breadcrumbs. Repeat and assemble more balls with the remaining rice, filling and breading.

  • Heat the oil in a large pot or deep fryer to 350 degrees F. Fry the rice balls, in batches if necessary, until golden, about 3 minutes.

Professional Recipe: This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional and makes a large quantity. The Food Network Kitchens chefs have not tested this recipe in the proportions indicated and therefore cannot make any representation as to the results.

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