Directions 5 steps | 45 Minutes
Prep and measure all ingredients and make the rice. Cook the rice in 5 cups of boiling water with 1 tablespoon of salt, for about 15 minutes. Once the rice is cooked, the water will have been completely absorbed. Add the butter to the cooked rice. Stir to obtain a creamy and amalgamated mixture. Pour and level the rice on a large, low tray or sheet pan. Cover it with plastic wrap to allow it to cool completely. The plastic will prevent the surface of the rice from drying out. Let the rice rest for a couple of hours at room temperature.
Once the rice is cooled, place a couple of tablespoons of rice at a time in your hand and flatten it into your cupped hand. Don't make it too thin, otherwise the filling will ooze out. Have a bowl filled with water nearby so you can moisten your hands. To the flattened cupped rice, add a teaspoon of tomato sauce, a piece of mozzarella and 2-3 pieces of diced ham in the center. Next, add a spoonful of rice on top to close the ball, and then shape each arancini with your hands. Repeat the process to form all of the rice balls.
Once all of the Italian rice balls are formed, prepare the batter. In a large bowl pour the sifted flour, a teaspoon of salt and 1 ¼ cups of water. Mix thoroughly with a whisk to prevent lumps from forming. Then dip the arancini, one by one, into the batter, taking care to cover them entirely. Next, roll them in the breadcrumbs. At this point, you can reshape them if needed.
Heat the oil in a deep skillet to 350°F. Fry 2-3 arancini at a time, taking care not to crowd the pan as this will lower the temperature. Turn the rice balls often to avoid browning too much on one side. When the Italian rice balls are golden brown, remove from the oil and place them on a tray lined with paper towels.
Enjoy the Italian rice balls hot and serve with additional marinara sauce.
- The Italian rice balls can be kept in the fridge for 2-3 days and then reheated in the oven before serving.