Ellen Bales


Just came across these and was taken back to South Bend, Indiana, to Parisi's Italian Ristorante, and Mama Parisi's arancini, or rice balls. They were a must-order every time we dined there, and when Mama P. passed, her recipe passed with her. Though I am told that a variation lives on. Magnifico!
Recipe & photo:

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Makes 24 arancini
30 Min
40 Min
Deep Fry


6 oz
(2 links) sweet italian sausage, casings removed
1/2 c
diced onion
2 clove
garlic, minced
2 Tbsp
chopped fresh sage
1 c
arborio rice
1/2 c
dry white wine
2 c
reduced sodium chicken broth
1/2 tsp
1/4 tsp
black pepper
8 c
vegetable oil
egg, beaten
3/4 c
plain bread crumbs
3 oz
(about 24 1/2-inch cubes) fontina cheese
marinara sauce (optional)


1Add sausage to a pot over medium-high heat, breaking up with a spoon. Cook 6 minutes, until browned. Reduce heat to medium and stir in onion. Cook 3 to 5 minutes until softened. Mix in garlic and sage; cook 1 minute. Stir in rice and wine, scraping bottom of pan to release brown bits. Cook until liquid evaporates. Pour in broth and 1-1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce to a simmer and cook 25 minutes, until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. Stir in salt and pepper. Spread rice on a rimmed baking sheet to cool 10 minutes, then refrigerate 1 hour.
2Heat oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot to 350º. Scrape risotto into a large bowl and mix with egg and 1/4 cup of the bread crumbs. Using hands, form a ball around a cube of cheese with 2 Tbsp. of the mixture. Roll in remaining 1/2 cup bread crumbs. Place on a baking sheet while continuing to form arancini.
3Fry arancini in batches (no more than 8 at a time) for 3 minutes each, maintaining temp around 350º (it will drop when arancini are added). Place on a paper-towel-lined plate; allow to cool slightly (cheese will continue to melt inside). Serve hot with marinara on the side for dipping.

About this Recipe

Main Ingredient: Rice/Grains
Regional Style: Italian