Arancine – Arancini


Arancine – Arancini

Disagreement: arancina or arancino (singular) arancine or arancini (plural)? 🙄

In Italian, nouns end in a vowel and all nouns have a gender, even those that refer to a qualities, ideas, and things. Usually, Italian singular masculine nouns end in -o, while feminine nouns end in –a.

In Western Sicily people say “arancina” but in Eastern Sicily they pronounce it as “arancino.” Eastern Sicily is, wrong, the correct term is arancina. Since, It’s a rice ball with the shape of the orange (fruit) (arancia) , the fruit is feminine, while the tree (arancio) from which it originated is masculine.
It is a dish that was born in Sicily in the Saracen period, made of fragrant saffron rice, enriched with vegetable herbs and chunks of meat.
Normally it was served in a tray at center of the table and, as it was also customary of our farmers, everyone ate it with their hands. One day, the Arabs, wanted to bring it for their journey, so they wrapped it into a ball like an orange, that breaded and fried brought consistency, enough to withstand transport. The idea of the stuffed arancina was born long after.
The ragu`inside of the arancina had origins only with the coming of the tomato from America.
In fact this vegetable has monopolized the Sicilian cuisine, becoming indispensable in the most Sicilian dishes.


Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Snack
Keyword: arancine, arancini, sicilian street food



  • 1 kg rice 4 cups
  • 3 Lt water 0.8 gal
  • 150 g butter 10 tbsp
  • 35 g salt 2 tbsp
  • 2 pinches saffron


  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 clove
  • 300 g minced pork 10 oz
  • 300 g minced beef 10 oz
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 200 g frozen peas 7 oz
  • 250 g of grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese or Caciocavallo cheese 8.8 oz
  • pepper as needed
  • salt



  • Place the ingredients in a large nonstick pan, starting from cold and cook over medium heat, without stirring, until the rice has absorbed all the water.
  • Set aside and allow to cool completely in a large container.


  • In a large pan, put the onion, carrot, and celery finely chopped with oil.
  • Let fry them for few minutes, and add the pork and beef, cook for 10 minutes.
  • When the meat is browned, turn up the heat, and deglaze with white wine.
  • Let it evaporate, add the bay leaf and cloves then peas and tomato paste dissolved in a glass of lukewarm water
  • Add two more glasses of water salt and pepper and cook over low heat for about an hour and a half
  • After let it to cool, remove the bay leaves, and when everything is warm add the cheese, then stir.


  • Once the rice has completely cooled (it will take at least a couple of hours), you can form the balls, to help in the formation hold near a bowl filled with water so that you can wet your hands.
  • Place some rice in your hand and flatten it into your cupped hand.
  • Add a few cubes of cheese and top with meat filling, form a ball, as big as an orange, compacting it well, to do this it is best to keep the hands well wet .
  • Deep the rice ball in the beaten egg, or in a batter made from flour and water, rather liquid, and then in breadcrumbs.
  • Preheat the oil, must be hot.
  • Dip arancina inside the oil, being careful not to burn yourself.
  • Fry until the arancina turns golden.
  • When golden, transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to sop up any excess oil.


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