I cannot tell you all how much I love Arancini.
Literally, I am pretty certain that if there was only one food I was allowed to eat for the rest of my life, it would be these. Yep, even over chocolate. Shocking, I know.
I don’t know what it is about these delicious fried risotto balls that I love so much, anything fried is normally a winner in my book, and if they are on a menu when we go to eat out, it’s a no brainer and I will choose to have them.
Making them at home is a labour of love I have to admit, there are lots of component parts to them which can take a while to make, such as the risotto and the meat ragu, but I promise you all they are worth it! What’s even better is if you have some leftover risotto or bolognese from dinner the night before, these little babies are way less stressful to make because you already have half the prep done! No food waste either!
So, what are Arancini and where do they come from?
Arancini are the ancient street food of Sicily. You and me grab a sandwich, in Sicily they grab an Arancini. Lucky guys eh?!
I was lucky enough to visit this magical little island, with it’s ominous and temperamental volcano, 6 years ago with my family and sample some authentic Sicilian Arancini. They didn’t let me down!
The origin of this typical Sicilian food isn’t actually well-known. People from Catania argue the origin belongs to them (they think arancini were created to help poor people through history to eat something healthy during emigrations) whilst those from Palermo state that the origin is in fact very ancient. They claim they were created by the Arabs and they called it “arancina” (translation; little orange) because its shape and colour once fried is similar to that of an orange. I’m inclined to agree with the folks from Palermo. Please don’t send a horse head my way for saying that…
Arancini are either round in shape (Palermo) or Conical (Catania) but because I am a novice, I can only make round ones!
They are essentially balls of cooked risotto, filled with whatever takes your fancy (normally meat ragu or ham and cheese) and then coated in breadcrumbs and fried. An entire meal in one little ball.
I hope you have a go at making these at home. I know it might look/sound daunting to start with but honestly, if I can make them, anyone can! Buon Appetito!