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Sicilian arancini (rice balls)

Sicilian arancini (rice balls)

Arancini rice balls are a typical recipe of Sicily, an island of Italy. Today we propose this yummy dish in a spring and healthy version, with unrefined rice and flour, a lot of vegetables and a pinch of saffron, the scented and colorful spice. The recipe uses also a tablespoon of grated parmesan cheese, source of calcium and proteins. However, if you prefer, you can replace the parmesan with nutritional yeast flakes.


300 grams of semi whole grain rice
1/2 teaspoon of saffron
100 grams of canned peas
250 grams of spinach
50 grams of whole grain flour
1 tablespoon of parmesan cheese
Whole grain breadcrumbs
Black pepper
Sea salt
60 ml of vegetable broth
Prepare a batter by mixing the flour, a pinch of salt and 75 ml of water, let it rest. Rinse the spinach and, without squeezing put these vegetables in a pot and cook for 3-4 minutes. Then remove from the heat, let the vegetables cool down and chop them up.
Cook the rice in the broth in accordance with the timing reported on the package. Finally, the broth will be completely absorbed. At the end of cooking add also the saffron, let cool down a bit. Mix the rice with the spinach, the peas, a pinch of black pepper, 1 tablespoon of parmesan and let all cool down.
Make, with hands, balls from the mixture of rice and vegetables. Put these balls quickly in the batter and then in the breadcrumbs. Place the arancini on a baking pan covered with baking paper. Bake in the oven at 200° for 20 minutes. Serve with seasonal salads as a side dish.
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