Miniature Rice Ball Appetizer    

Arancine Mignon   


Arancine is derived from the Italian word for orange, or arancia.

Thisprepare and will make approximately 25 visually and gastronomically appealing miniature rice balls






The Stuffing 


·        ½ lb ricotta 

·        ½ lb shredded mozzarella 

·        ½ cup grated cheese 

·        ½ lb diced mortadella or ham 


This stuffing is made using whatever products are available in your pantry or refrigerator, using your imagination and ingenuity.   

Some suggestions:

In a small bowl, mix ½ lb ricotta, ½ lb shredded mozzarella and ½ cup grated cheese.
Combine ½ lb diced mortadella or ham, ½ lb shredded mozzarella, ¼ lb butter at room temperature, 3 tablespoons grated cheese and ground black pepper to taste.
Mix 1 lb salted butter, at room temperature, with your preferred herbs and spices.
Sauté with onions, 1½ lb chopped meat (or leftover steaks, sausages, meat balls, chopped), add some tomato sauce and you have a delicious stuffing.
Any leftover vegetables sautéed with onions or garlic, herbs and spices can produce Rice Balls Primavera. 




Rice Preparation 


·        1 lb Arborio rice, rinsed 

·        ¼ cup olive oil 

·        ½ medium onion, finely chopped 

·        2 quarts water 

·        1 tablespoon tomato paste 

·        1 tablespoon salt (½ oz) 

·        Pepper to taste 

·       ¼ cup parsley, chopped 

·       2 eggs 




In a 6-quart saucepot, combine the olive oil with the onion and sauté for about 7 minutes, until lightly golden.  

Add tomato paste, and as it fries, slowly add a quart of water. After a few minutes, add the remaining water, salt, pepper and parsley.  Let boil for about ½ hour.   

Remove 2 cups of liquid, set aside and stir the rice into the remaining boiling liquid. Cook at medium heat. 

Beat the eggs and add 1 cup of the reserved liquid. This prevents the eggs from cooking too quickly when you add them to the boiling rice. 

 Add the egg mixture into the rice and continue stirring, simmering it for about 15 minutes or until al dente. Salt to taste. 

If necessary, add some of the reserved liquid. Rice should have the consistency of a risotto, and if the reserved liquid is not enough, add some hot water. Place cooked rice in a large, wide pan to cool, turning it occasionally.




Making the Rice Balls 

Work cooled rice with your hands and compact into a mass. If too dry, add either the reserved water or plain water until smooth and moist but not too watery. 


Wet hands with oil and shape some rice into a ball the size of a small orange (hence the name arancine).   

Make a hole with your finger and fill with ½ teaspoon of the stuffing. 

Cover the hole with a small amount of rice and smooth the ball until round. If it is too small, add some rice.  If it is too large, remove a pinch of rice and reshape. Repeat until it is a smooth sphere of the desired size.  


Place rice balls in an oiled pan, cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours.  


To make the miniature rice balls uniform in size, you can use a 3-ounce ice cream scoop.  






Frying the Rice Balls 

You will need: 

·       A wide container with 3–4 lb sifted fine Italian breadcrumbs 

·       2 eggs 

·       4 tablespoons milk 

·       Deep fryer at 375 degrees (preferably peanut oil) 








Place milk and eggs in a wide bowl and beat until smooth. 

Lower the rice balls into the egg mixture, a few at a time. After you remove them from the egg mixture, reshape if necessary.  Then, roll them in the container with the breadcrumbs. Press the breadcrumbs into the rice ball and continue rolling in your hands, shaping into a ball.

Set the breaded rice ball into a pan or dish. Deep fry until golden. Let rest on paper towels. 

It is advisable that you warm the rice balls in a 325 degree oven for a few minutes before serving to allow the stuffing to warm.