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:
- 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.
- 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.
- Remove rice from heat, stir in Parmesan cheese. Add salt to taste.
- Let cool slightly, then add whisked egg, making sure to stir vigorously so egg doesn’t just cook in a big lump.
- Spread rice out on a baking sheet and let cool completely.
To make the filling:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.