Italian Rice Balls With Meat and Peas

Posted on May 21 2015 - 5:43pm by Adriana Pezzuto

Italian Rice Balls With Meat and Peas

Italian Rice Balls With Meat and Peas

Italian Rice Balls With Meat and Peas

Italian Rice Balls With Meat and Peas Ingredients

For the rice:
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1½ cups arborio rice, dry
  • 3½ – 4½ cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • pinch of saffron
  • ⅓ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • salt to taste
  • 1 egg, whisked
For the filling:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ⅔ lb ground beef
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup peas, frozen or fresh
  • ½ cup parsley, chopped
  • ⅔ cup Parmesan, grated
  • salt to taste
  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into 1 inch cubes


Italian Rice Balls With Meat and Peas Preparation Instructions



To make the rice:
  1. In a medium sized heavy bottomed saucepan, melt butter. Add rice, coat with butter, and let it toast for 3-5 minutes. Stir in ½ a cup of broth. When it starts to boil, add in garlic powder and saffron.
  2. Add broth, ½ a cup at a time, and stir until rice absorbs almost all the moisture. After about 3 cups of broth, taste rice. It should be al dente and have a little bit of chew. Continue with broth until you reach this consistency.
  3. Remove rice from heat, stir in Parmesan cheese. Add salt to taste.
  4. Let cool slightly, then add whisked egg, making sure to stir vigorously so egg doesn’t just cook in a big lump.
  5. Spread rice out on a baking sheet and let cool completely.

To make the filling:

  1. Heat olive oil in a medium sized skillet. Add ground beef and tomatoes and cook until meat has browned. Stir in peas, parsley, and Parmesan cheese. Add salt to taste.
  2. To assemble:
    1. With wet hands, take about 3 tablespoons of cooled rice and form it into a ball in your hand, squeezing out any air pockets. Make an indentation in the middle and place as much filling as will fit. Top with a couple cubes of mozzarella.
    2. Take another ~2 tablespoons of rice and squeeze out any air pockets. Use this to make the top half of the ball. Shape into a sphere, adding a little more rice if needed, and set aside onto plate.
    3. Repeat this process until all rice is used up, washing hands in-between if they get too sticky. Note that you will likely have filling left over, depending on how thin you can get the rice layer.
    To fry:
    1. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, heat oil to 370F. You should use enough oil to fully submerge your arancini. If you don’t have a thermometer, you can test by flicking a little bit of bread crumbs into the oil and seeing if it starts to fry.
    2. When you’re ready to fry the arancini, dip the balls into flour, then egg, then bread crumbs. Place immediately into hot oil and fry until the outside is a nice golden brown. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate and let cool slightly.



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