Rice Balls with Meat Stuffing


makes about 25

for the rise
500 g / 1 lb. 2 oz. Carnaroli rice
1 L / 1 qt. water
125 g / 4 ½ oz. butter
35 g / 1 ½ oz. onion
1 celery stalk
1 carrot
5 g / ¼ oz. saffron
50 g / 1 ¾ oz. Grana Padano DOP
salt to taste

for the filling
600 g / 1 lb. 5 oz. beef, diced
500 ml / 17 fl. oz. tomato sauce
1 kg / 2 lb. 2 oz. onion, minced
200 g / 7 oz. tomato paste
100 ml / 3 ½ fl. oz. aged wine
100 g / 3 ½ oz. peas
300 g / 11 oz. Primosale cheese
150 ml / 5 ½ fl. oz. extra-virgin olive oil
ground cinnamon
salt to taste
pepper to taste

for the coating
pastry flour
2 beaten eggs
200 g / 7 oz. breadcrumbs

difficulty 4/5 | preparation time 2 hours

In a large pot, bring the salted water, onion, celery and carrot to boil. Turn down the heat and let cook over a low flame for at least 30 minutes. Filter the vegetable stock, then add the saffron. When the water is dark yellow add the rice. Cook over medium to high heat until the liquid has evaporated. The rice will be al dente.
Pour the rice into a large baking dish, add the butter and the grated Grana Padano and blend well. While the rice cools, prepare the filling. Heat some olive oil in a pan and add the minced onion. Add the meat and let brown. Add the wine and bubble up to evaporate the alcohol. Then add the tomato sauce and the tomato paste. Add salt, pepper and cinnamon to taste and cook over very low heat. Prod the meat with a fork to make sure it’stender. Blanch the peas, then drain and add them to the meat.
Lastly, add the Primosale cheese cut into small cubes. Take a small quantity of rice and flatten it in the palm of your hand. (Wet your hand before to stop the rice from sticking).
Make a well big enough for a small amount of stuffing, then close the rice over to form a ball. The stuffing should be equal to two-thirds the weight of the arancino, the rice one-third.
Moisten the rice balls with water, dredge in the flour, dip in the beaten egg, and finally coat with breadcrumbs. Fry in a generous amount of oil until golden brown and serve hot.


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