Arancini Sicilian Style (Sicilian Rice Balls)

Total Time
1hr 35mins
Prep 20 mins
Cook 1 hr 15 mins

My grandmother (on Dad's side) used to make these for supper on Saturday nights. Occasionally I still make them for dinner but I usually serve them as an appetizer at parties or get togethers.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Wash rice and cook in 4 cups boiling, salted water until tender.
  2. Meanwhile, place chopped beef, chicken livers, oil, garlic and onion in saucepan and brown gently.
  3. Add mushrooms and cook 1 minute more.
  4. Add tomato paste and 1 cup warm water and cook 30 minutes.
  5. Add salt and pepper.
  6. Drain rice, add butter and grated cheese (Parmesan or Romano) and cool a bit.
  7. To this, add the egg yolks and the tomato gravy, holding aside the meat and mushrooms.
  8. Mix rice well.
  9. Make little balls of rice, place inside each ball some of the meat, liver, mushroom mixture.
  10. Dip rice balls into lightly beaten egg, roll in bread crumbs and fry in hot olive oil until golden brown all over.
  11. Can be served plain or with additional gravy.


Most Helpful

These are fantastic! I didn't have tomato paste so I used a can of chipotle peppers with sauce instead. I left out the cup of water and the butter. Switched the chicken liver and chopped beef for left over ham. I used the deep fryer and they turned out beautifully. Put them on a plate with a creamy dip to cut the heat...Everyone loves them. Thank you!

gator's mom March 12, 2009

I got rave reviews from my fiance and his family when I made this! I've never been to Palermo, but from what I know from my side of the family, this is as close as it gets without actually going there. I did make a few small changes: I pureed the meat/mushroom mixture in the food processor. It helped the balls form and stick a little better. I also used a deep fryer because I noticed the balls were flattening in the frying pan. And I left ot the chicken livers. My family would have refused to eat it, had they known there were chicken livers in it, and I can't hide something like that because everyone hovers around when I cook out of curiosity and a hope for a taste... I also doubled the recipe. My family can eat enough for a small army, and I always figure anything worth making (esp. Italian food) is worth making a lot of so that there are plenty of leftovers. We had dinner for everyone for a few more nights, and there were actually stiff arguments when the leftovers started to run out!

hennesm81 June 11, 2007

superb.... for a minute i thought i was back in palermo!!! as an alternative, try omitting the chicken livers and the beef, and using spinach and diced mozzarella cheese - makes a great vegi choice

scimietta99 January 13, 2006

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