Recipe: Crispy, Golden Brown Arancini

Pecorino Romano, pancetta and risotto come together to create this staple of Sicilian cuisine.


  • Olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 gloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound arborio rice
  • 3 to 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1/2 cup pecorino romano
  • 1 cup cooked pancetta, chopped
  • 1 cup prosciutto, chopped
  • 1 cup mozzarella, chopped
  • flour
  • breadcrumbs
  • vegetable oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste



Make the risotto: Bring a few tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat over a skillet. Add in the onion and cook until translucent about five minutes. Add in the garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook for another three minutes and add in the rice. Toast for three to five minutes and then begin ladling in warmed stock, about 1/4 cup at a time. Stir and wait for rice to absorb the liquid before adding more. Continue this until all the liquid has been absorbed and rice is cooked to al dente. Remove risotto from heat and stir in butter and rice. Allow it to cool for at least one hour.

Make the arancini: Prepare the flour slurry by mixing together flour and water until a thin mixture comes together. Pour the breadcrumbs onto a plate. Take a small handful of risotto, add in a small amount of the cheese and meats, grab another small handful of the risotto and cover the filling. Tightly roll it into a firm ball. Dip into the flour slurry and the breadcrumbs. Repeat until the risotto is gone. At this point, all the arancini can be refrigerated or frozen to be fried at a later time.

Fry the arancini: Heat three inches of oil in a deep skillet until it reaches 350 degrees. Fry half the arancini until golden brown, turning frequently. Serve with a fresh tomato sauce and pecorino romano cheese.

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