Ragu & Pecorino Arancini

How to make Ragu and Pecorino Arancini.

Ingredients: Makes 36

For the ragu:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 sprig rosemary, leaves minced
  • 8 ounces/225 grams ground beef
  • 8 ounces/225 grams pork sausage, casings removed 
  • ⅓ cup/80 ml red wine
  • 1 cup/260 grams tomato paste 
  • kosher salt, to taste

For the arancini: 

  • 4 cups/815 grams arborio rice
  • kosher salt, to taste 
  • 2 sachets/2 teaspoons safflower or saffron pistils 
  • 2 cups/500 grams meat ragu
  • 5 ¼ ounces/155 grams/1 cup Pecorino, cut into 1 ½ centimeter cubes 
  • 2 cups/275 grams (00) wheat flour 
  • 2 cups/230 grams plain breadcrumbs
  • peanut oil, for frying 


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and rosemary and cook until soft, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the ground beef and sausage and cook, breaking up the pieces with a wooden spoon, until golden, 7 to 8 minutes.
  4. Add the red wine and cook until reduced by half, about 1 minute, then add the tomato paste and cook until thick, about 5 minutes.
  5. Season with salt and cool completely. 
  6. Soak the saffron in 2 spoonfuls of warm water overnight.
  7. The next day, discard the pistils and save the water.
  8. Bring 5 cups/1.18 litres of water to a simmer in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
  9. Add the rice and season with salt.
  10. Lower the heat to maintain a low simmer and cook, stirring often, until al dente, about 30 minutes.
  11. Add the saffron water and stir to combine.
  12. Lay the rice in an even layer on a sheet tray to cool. 
  13. Once the rice has cooled and using wet hands, form into 36 (2 ounce/60 gram) balls.
  14. Fill each ball with about 1 tablespoon of ragu and 1 cube of cheese. 
  15. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and 2 cups/100 ml of cold water.
  16. The batter should be quite thick, similar to a crepe batter.
  17. Place each arancine in the batter, then roll it in the breadcrumbs. 
  18. Heat 2-inches peanut oil in a large saucepan until a deep-fry thermometer reads 350°F/180°C.
  19. Working in batches, fry the arancini until golden on the outside, about 5 minutes.
  20. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and season with salt.
  21. Serve and enjoy!
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