Frank’s Favorite Recipe: Arancini

For over 20 years we’ve been making meals that bring smiles to faces, nourish our souls, and bring Italy into each of our homes. But Ditalia would be nothing without the family we’ve built in the process. The foundation of this business has been built around amazing people with a spark for life and a taste for inspiring meals!

Meet Frank, Ditalia’s stellar photographer. A picture is worth a thousand words, and Frank is the master of this mantra. You’ve seen those delicious photos of our Sicilian Cannoli Kits, or the mouthwatering pictures of our Antipasti Spreads. Whatever the subject, Franco is there to capture that perfect moment!


Arancini reminds me of growing up in New York and eating them off food trucks on the way home from school

Arancini are the quintessential southern Italian street food. Made with fresh risotto and ground beef, they are the perfect afternoon snack. Directly translated, arancini means “little oranges” given their color and shape!


Recipe Numbers 

Prep Time: 20 min. plus 1 day

Cook Time: 1 hr.

Serves: about 15 – 20 arancini



For the Filling

1/2lb Ground Beef

1/2lb Ground Pork

1/4lb Ground Veal (if available)

(Soffrito/Mirepoix) – 2:1:1 ratio (onions, carrots, celery) (finely diced or food processor)
1 white onion is the starting point to figure out how much celery and carrots you need

Tablespoon of Extra virgin olive oil

½ to ¾ cup of Tomato Passata

2 tablespoons Estratto di Pomodoro (Tomato Paste)

½ cup of frozen peas

¼ cup of white wine


For the Risotto

Carnaroli Rice 2.2 lbs

2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

½ cup white wine

6 – 8 cups of chicken or vegetable stock

Saffron Threads (a pinch)

¼ cup of Parmigiano

3 eggs



Seasoned Breadcrumbs

Vegetable oil



Step 1, The Meat Filling (Prepare the Day before)

Over medium to high heat, add extra virgin olive oil. Add carrots and celery, cook for about 3 – 4 minutes. Add onions. Cook Soffrito until all soft and onion is transparent.

Add white wine and cook for a 2 – 3 minutes. Add all of the ground meat (make sure you continue to ground the meat as fine as possible while it cooks), cook for about 5 minute before proceeding to next step.

Add 2 tablespoons of Estratto di Pomodoro and cook into the meat mixture. Add ½ cup to ¾ cup of Passata Tomato (some like it a bit saucier, add as you like), Cook for about 3 – 5 minutes. Add Peas and cook for about another 2 – 3 minutes.

Step 2, The Risotto (continuous stirring is key for this)

Simmer the stock next to the pot that you are using for the rice over medium to high heat. Add extra virgin olive oil and heat up. Add the Carnaroli Rice and toast the grains (about 2 minutes). Add the white wine and stir until the wine is fully incorporated into the rice.

Add 2 ladle’s of stock and stir into the rice (keep stirring until rice has absorbed all of the stock). Repeat this process for about 25 minutes. (keep tasting around the 20 minute mark to determine when the rice is perfect.) Around the 20 minute mark, add the saffron threads and keep stirring.

Once it is perfect, turn off the heat and add the Parmigiano and stir in. Let the mixture cool (you can refrigerate or let it naturally cool to a bit below room temp). Once it is cool, add your eggs and mix well into the risotto.

Step 3, the Assembly

Make them at whatever size feel comfortable to you. We usually take 3 tablespoons of the risotto and flatten in the palm.

Add a tablespoon of the meat mixture. Add a piece of mozzarella or any soft good melting cheese (get creative here). Start to cup your palm to prepare for another 2 – 3 tablespoons of risotto to finish the ball shape.

Roll the arancini ball in the flour, then the roll it in beaten egg, and then roll in breadcrumbs. Repeat that again; flour, egg, breadcrumbs (this is a little trick that I like, it gets the outside extra crunchy).

Deep Fry and serve with a side of sauce for dipping. Enjoy!

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