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Arancini alla Carbonara

Arancini alla Carbonara

Arancini Carbonara Recipe

This carbonara twist on the Sicilian classic is a delicious, rich, decadent, rice ball with a crispy exterior and melt-in-your-mouth-sumptuous interior.

I made these arancini as an appetizer for a dinner party recently, and people seriously would’ve been happy if that was the only thing I served. It’s probably the only thing they recall too. After dinner (and a few drinks) we actually heated some more up. It was a perfect nightcap.

In this recipe, we transform the classic Sicilian snack by infusing it with flavors reminiscent of pasta carbonara. This version incorporates pancetta and a rich blend of cheeses into the rice, a little different from traditional arancini which typically features simpler fillings like peas and meat sauce. The result: a delicious, rich, decadent, rice ball with a crispy exterior and melt-in-your-mouth-sumptuous interior.

I won’t lie; they are a little labor intensive. Cooking the rice, shredding the cheese, frying the pancetta, rolling the balls, dipping them in batter – it’s a job. I don’t want to scare you away, though. They are worth every bit of time and effort required!

The good news is you can make them the night before, wrap them really tight with plastic wrap on a cookie sheet and stick them in the fridge until you are ready. I let mine sit out a few minutes before I drop them in the oil. To finish, I grate a little pecorino cheese over top and serve it with some homemade marinara sauce.

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Arancini Carbonara Recipe


How to Make Arancini Carbonara


Preparing the Filling

  1. Combine Ingredients:
    • In a medium bowl, mix together the cooked rice, ricotta, mozzarella, eggs, Pecorino cheese, parsley, and crisped pancetta. Stir until all ingredients are well combined.
  2. Season:
    • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Chill:
    • Refrigerate the mixture for about one hour to help the flavors meld and the mixture to firm up, making it easier to handle.

Forming the Arancini

  1. Shape Arancini:
    • Once chilled, use a spoon to scoop the rice mixture and roll it between your palms to form balls. Aim for each to be uniformly sized for even cooking.
  2. Prepare for Breading:
    • Line up three dishes for a breading station: one with seasoned flour, one with beaten eggs, and one with seasoned breadcrumbs.
  3. Bread Arancini:
    • Roll each rice ball in the flour, dip it in the beaten eggs, and then coat thoroughly in breadcrumbs. Place the breaded balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Cooking the Arancini

  1. Preheat Oil:
    • In a deep fryer or a large pot, heat oil to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Fry Arancini:
    • Fry the arancini in batches to avoid crowding, until golden brown and heated through, about 4-5 minutes.
  3. Drain:
    • Use a slotted spoon to transfer the arancini to a paper towel-lined plate to drain excess oil.

To Serve

  1. Garnish and Serve:
    • Sprinkle freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese over the hot arancini before serving.

Arancini Carbonara Recipe

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Arancini Carbonara Recipe

Arancini alla Carbonara


5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

4.8 from 13 reviews

  • Author: Jessica Potts
  • Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 portions 1x

Description

This carbonara twist on the Sicilian classic is a delicious, rich, decadent, rice ball with a crispy exterior and melt-in-your-mouth-sumptuous interior.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 2 cups cooked white rice (seasoned with a pinch of salt)
  • 1/2 pound ricotta cheese
  • 3/4 pound mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese (plus more for garnish)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 4 ounces pancetta, cubed
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (seasoned with salt and pepper)
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Oil for frying

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, add the rice, ricotta, mozzarella, eggs, pecorino, parsley and pancetta and stir until well incorporated. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate the mixture for approximately one hour until the mixture begins to stiffen a bit.
  2. Using a spoon, scoop the rice into balls, rolling between your palms to even out the shape.
  3. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment.
  4. Place the seasoned flour in a shallow pan, in another bowl whisk the eggs, and lastly a pan filled with the breadcrumbs.
  5. Roll the balls in the flour, then dip in the eggs to cover, and finally roll in the breadcrumbs. At this point you can refrigerate for one day.
  6. Preheat oil in a deep fat fryer or large pot to 350 degrees. Place the balls into the oil and cook until golden brown, drain on a towel and serve sprinkled with fresh grated pecorino cheese.

Notes

Preparing the Filling

  1. Combine Ingredients:
    • In a medium bowl, mix together the cooked rice, ricotta, mozzarella, eggs, Pecorino cheese, parsley, and crisped pancetta. Stir until all ingredients are well combined.
  2. Season:
    • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Chill:
    • Refrigerate the mixture for about one hour to help the flavors meld and the mixture to firm up, making it easier to handle.

Forming the Arancini

  1. Shape Arancini:
    • Once chilled, use a spoon to scoop the rice mixture and roll it between your palms to form balls. Aim for each to be uniformly sized for even cooking.
  2. Prepare for Breading:
    • Line up three dishes for a breading station: one with seasoned flour, one with beaten eggs, and one with seasoned breadcrumbs.
  3. Bread Arancini:
    • Roll each rice ball in the flour, dip it in the beaten eggs, and then coat thoroughly in breadcrumbs. Place the breaded balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Cooking the Arancini

  1. Preheat Oil:
    • In a deep fryer or a large pot, heat oil to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Fry Arancini:
    • Fry the arancini in batches to avoid crowding, until golden brown and heated through, about 4-5 minutes.
  3. Drain:
    • Use a slotted spoon to transfer the arancini to a paper towel-lined plate to drain excess oil.

To Serve

  1. Garnish and Serve:
    • Sprinkle freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese over the hot arancini before serving.
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Chilling Time: 60 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Category: Appetizers
  • Method: Frying
  • Cuisine: Italian

 

View Comments (15)
  • This recipe turned my kitchen into the best Italian restaurant in town last night! Thanks for sharing.






  • The arancini came out perfectly crispy and the pancetta added such a rich flavor that my entire family was impressed. This will definitely be added to our family’s recipe book.






  • These were surprisingly easy to make and so delicious. Served them at my last dinner party, and they were the star of the evening! Yes, there’s some time involved in making them – but it is totally worth it!!






  • As someone who’s ventured into Italian cooking only recently, I was a bit intimidated to try making arancini at home. But this recipe was so well-explained that I felt like a pro in my kitchen! The combination of creamy ricotta and crispy pancetta tucked inside those golden rice balls was an absolute delight. I paired them with a light salad and it turned into a wonderful meal.






  • Wow, just wow! I took a chance on this recipe for a small get-together with friends and it was the highlight of our evening. The texture and flavor combination was spot-on. Also, your tip about chilling the rice mixture made shaping the balls so much easier.






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