Arancini or Arancine is a typical specialty of Sicilian cuisine! It is delicious street food loved all over the world!

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 quality, 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.


Moreover, since I belong to Western Sicily, I call them Arancine.

This dish evolved to what it is now, thanks to the Arabs controlling Sicily during the Saracen period. At first, it was a simple rice dish made of fragrant saffron rice, enriched with vegetable herbs and chunks of meat.


Typically, it was served on a tray at the center of the table, and everyone ate it with their hands. One day, the Arabs wanted to bring it for a snack during their journey, so they put the rice in a ball of bread dough and fried it so the consistency could withstand the transport.
The origin of the ragu inside the arancina/o is tied to the discovery of the tomato in Europe.

ragu sauce

In fact, this vegetable has monopolized Sicilian cuisine, becoming indispensable in most Sicilian dishes.


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Arancine – Arancini Recipe

Prep Time 30 mins Cook Time 30 mins Total Time 1 hr Difficulty: Intermediate Best Season: Suitable throughout the year


Arancine or Arancini are traditional Italian rice balls coated in breadcrumbs and fried until golden and crispy. They are often filled with various ingredients, such as ragù (meat sauce), mozzarella cheese, and peas.  Here's a basic recipe for classic arancini:


Cooking Mode Disabled


Ragu Sauce



    • Mix the water with the saffron, salt, and butter (cut into pieces).
    • When the saffron water comes to a boil, add the rice, lower the heat, and cook until the broth is completely absorbed, stirring occasionally.
    • Turn off the heat and let the rice cool.

Ragu Sauce

    • Finely chop onions, carrots, and celery in a large pan with olive oil.
    • Let them fry for a few minutes, add the pork and beef, and 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, and 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 it cools, remove the bay leaves. When everything is warm, add the cheese and stir.


    • You can form the balls once the rice has completely cooled (it will take at least a couple of hours). To help create the balls, keep a bowl filled with water nearby so you can wet your hand (it makes it easier to handle the rice).
    • Place some rice in your hand and flatten it into your cupped hand.
    • Add a few cubes of mozzarella, the ragu meat filling, and a teaspoon of grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.
    • Form a ball as big as an orange, compacting it well; to do this, it is best to keep the hands wet.
    • Dip the rice ball in the beaten egg or a batter made from flour and water, and then roll them in the breadcrumbs.
    • Preheat the oil until it is pretty hot.
    • Dip arancine/i inside the oil, being careful not to burn yourself.
    • Fry until the arancine/i turn golden.
    • When golden, transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to sop up any excess oil.
Keywords: Arancine, Arancini

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