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Ball-shaped arancini from Palermo

Arancini (arancini[1] or arancine in Sicilian), are stuffed rice balls that are coated with breadcrumbs, and fried. Arancini are usually filled with ragù (meat sauce), tomato sauce, mozzarella, and/or peas. There are a number of local variants that differ in fillings and shape. The name derives from their shape and color, which is reminiscent of an orange (the Italian word for orange is arancia, and arancina means "little orange"), although in eastern Sicily, arancini have a more conical shape.

They are said to have originated in Sicily in the 10th century during Arab rule.[2][3]

Ingredients and variations[edit]

Conical-shaped arancini photographed in Lipari

The main type of arancino sold in Sicilian cafes are arancini con ragù, which typically consist of meat in a tomato sauce, rice, and mozzarella. Many cafes also offer arancini con burro (béchamel sauce), or specialty arancini, such as arancini con funghi (mushrooms), con pistacchi (pistachios), or con melanzane (aubergine).

In Roman cuisine, supplì are similar, but commonly filled with cheese. In Naples, rice balls are called pall'e riso (rice balls).

In a variant recipe originating among the Italian diaspora in Southeast Texas, the arancini are stuffed with a chili-seasoned filling.[4]

In popular culture[edit]

In Italian literature, Inspector Montalbano, the main character of Andrea Camilleri's detective novels, is a well-known lover of arancini and he has contributed to making this dish known outside of Italy.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Giuliano Valdes (1 May 2000). Sicilia. Ediz. Inglese (illustrated ed.). Casa Editrice Bonechi. p. 9. ISBN 9788870098266. 
  3. ^ Clifford A. Wright (1 Jan 2003). Little Foods of the Mediterranean: 500 Fabulous Recipes for Antipasti, Tapas, Hors D'Oeuvre, Meze, and More (illustrated ed.). Harvard Common Press. p. 380. ISBN 9781558322271. 
  4. ^

External links[edit]