Sara’s arancini

Here is the arancini recipe of my mother-in-law, Sara Conti. Like many great intuitive cooks, much of what she does is by look and feel. But this is what she says she always does and the arancini are always wonderful. The recipe makes about 20. The smaller the better, since there’s more taste of the filling. You should be able to hold them inside your hand, about the size of a tennis ball.


For the rice
I kilo (about 2 lbs) of rice for risotto, cooked al dente
1 stick butter
8 oz grated Parmesan
2 beaten eggs
4T tomato sauce
Mix together in large bowl.
Prepare the fillings in separate containers.
Pkg of green peas, cooked slightly
1 lb ground beef, sauteed or 100 grams of prosciutto crudo
1 ball of mozzarella
“Some” tomato sauce (i.e. about 1 T for each ball).
Put “some” rice on your outstretched hand. See my last blog for illustration. Now you (or your assistant) put about a rounded teaspoon of each filling ingredient in the middle of the rice, add 1T of sauce (her magic “glue”) and deftly form the ball around it. Sorry, I can’t help you here with the technique. Sara says it works. Be patient.

  • Flour
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • bread crumbs

Roll each ball in the flour, then egg, then bread crumbs to cover completely.

Deep fry in vegetable or other light oil. We used a “Fry Daddy.” Your goal is golden oranges, like the picture. Drain, cool and eat, thinking of Sicily.

Pamela Schoenewaldt, historical novels of immigration and the search for self in new worlds: WHEN WE WERE STRANGERS, SWIMMING IN THE MOON, and UNDER THE SAME BLUE SKY (all HarperCollins).

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Sunday, May 6, 2pm reading from latest work at Hexagon Brewing Company, Knoxville, TN.

Thursday, May 10, 6-8 pm presentation on research on the historical novel, Blount County Library, Maryville, TN.

When We Were Strangers, Italian translation, to be presented in Pescasseroli, Italy, August 2018.

Recent Review
“Absorbing and layered with rich historical details, in Under the Same Blue Sky, Schoenewaldt weaves a tender and at times, heartbreaking story about German-Americans during World War I. With remarkable compassion, the author skillfully portrays conflicted loyalties, the search for belonging, the cruelty of war, and the resilience of the human spirit.”—Ann Weisgarber, author of The Promise and The Personal History of Rachel Dupree

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