Sicilian Rice Balls / Arancini di Siciliani


  • One cup Arborio rice
  • Three large eggs
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1/4 cup diced mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup diced prosciutto or ham (about two ounces)
  • Three tablespoons finely minced fresh parsley
  • Two cups fresh bread crumbs, toasted
  • 1/4 cup homemade tomato sauce
  • Peanut oil for deep-frying


  1. In a saucepan, bring 2 1/2 cups water to a boil. Add the rice and cook for 15 minutes. The rice should still be quite firm. Drain and transfer to a bowl.
  2. Lightly beat one of the eggs and add to the rice, along with the grated cheese, parsley, 2 tablespoons of the tomato sauce, and salt and pepper. Mix well. Chill the mixture in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes. in another bowl, mix the mozzarella cheese, prosciutto or ham, and the remaining 2 tablespoons tomato sauce.
  3. With floured hands, divide the rice mixture into 8 or 10 portions and roll each portion into a ball the size of a small orange. Poke a hole into the center of each ball with your finger and insert about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the mozzarella mixture. Reshape and smooth the balls to enclose the filling.
  4. In a shallow dish, beat the remaining 2 eggs. Spread the bread crumbs on a plate. Dip the balls into the eggs, turning to coat them well. Roll the balls in the bread crumbs to coat them evenly. Then let them dry on a plate for about 45 minutes.
  5. In a deep fryer or deep heavy pan, heat the peanut oil to 375F. Fry the balls until they are golden brown on all sides. Drain them on brown paper and serve immediately, with lemon wedges or the fresh tomato sauce.
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Lucille Giacino

Just what I’m looking for but it doesn’t say how many it makes and I need to make at least 30. Any help?

Lucille Reyes

It says to make 8 to 10 of them.

Connie Blaze

I had the pleasure of being in Italy and had “rice balls” from a street vender near Sorrento. These appear to be close, but there’s did not have meat in them. They were delicious! I will have to give this recipe a try…

Lisa F

I’m so excited to try this recipe. This was one of my favorite snacks when I was in Sicily!

Lisa F

I’m so excited to try this recipe. This was one of my favorite snacks when I was in Sicily!

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