Arancini as served at Real Italian Deli in Palm Desert, California, as seen on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, season 35.
Recipe courtesy of The Real Italian Deli


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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 50 min
  • Active: 50 min
  • Yield: 6 arancini



  1. Heat 3/4 cup olive oil in a deep roasting pan on high heat. Add the rice to the oil, stirring constantly, until the rice is golden brown. Add a few ounces of the chicken stock and the turmeric, consistently stirring.
  2. Add the chicken stock, 1 ounce at a time, stirring, until the stock has been completely incorporated. Add the butter and Parmesan and cook on medium-low heat until the rice is tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the rice from the roasting pan and spread evenly on a sheet pan to cool for 30 minutes.
  3. Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a sauté pan on medium.
  4. Add the onions and cook until translucent. Add the ground beef and ground pork and cook until browned and cooked through. Add the marinara and peas, then stir and remove from heat after 30 seconds. Allow the meat mixture to cool.
  5. In a medium bowl, place the flour and 1 cup water. Mix and set aside. Pour the panko breadcrumbs in a large bowl and set aside.
  6. In a large pot or deep fryer heat the remaining 3 cups olive oil on medium-high heat.
  7. Using a medium ice cream scoop, take a scoop of rice, place in the palm of your hand and form a small rice patty.
  8. Place a tablespoon of the meat mixture along with one cube of mozzarella in the middle of the patty. Close your hand and begin forming an egg-shaped ball with the meat and mozzarella completely covered. Place the arancini in the flour-water mixture. Place the arancini in the panko breadcrumbs.
  9. Gently place two to three arancini at a time in large pot of oil or a deep-fryer and cook until golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes.