Recipe - Arancine with Ham and Butter

Recipe - Arancine with Ham and Butter

Introduction to the recipe

Arancine with butter, along with arancine with ragù and those with spinach, are among the most typical in the Sicilian tradition. 

These arancine, which are almost always oval in shape, have a basic filling of mozzarella and béchamel sauce, often complemented with ham, but other variants feature an addition of mushrooms or salmon. Since their basic flavour is “neutral”, arancine with butter can be customised however you wish, so let your imagination be your guide!



160 grams


Ingredients for about 12 arancine

For rice:

  • 500 grams of rice ("Roma" and "Originario" rices, mixed in equal doses)
  • 1.1 liter of vegetable stock
  • 2 bags of saffron
  • 10 grams of salt
  • 60-100 grams of butter

For the finish:

  • 100 gr of flour
  • 180 ml of water
  • 2 eggs
  • 150 gr of bread crumbs

For the filling:

  • 200 grams of thick sliced ​​ham
  • 200 g of provolone


For the bechamel sauce:

  • 400 ml of milk
  • 40 g of butter
  • 40 gr of flour
  • nutmeg
  • salt
  • black pepper



Preparation of rice and filling


How to prepare the rice:

  • In a saucepan, put the broth, the butter, the saffron and the salt
  • When the stock is boiling, add the rice and mix well
  • Cover and cook over low heat until the rice absorbs all the broth and is cooked but al dente
  • When cooked, stir, pour the rice on a cold surface and spread evenly to allow rapid cooling
  • When the rice is cool down, it is ready to prepare the arancini

It is important that the rice is quite dry and cold.

The bechamel sauce

Prepare the bechamel sauce:

  • Melt 40 g of butter in a saucepan
  • When the butter is melted, remove the saucepan from the heat
  • Add 40 gr of flour mixing with a whisk and add 500 ml of milk poured in flush to prevent lumps from forming
  • Put back on the stove and cook over low heat until the cream thickens, mixing continuously to ensure a smooth and homogeneous consistency
  • Adjust salt and pepper and complete with the nutmeg; turn off the heat and let it cool

The filling

  • Dice the ham and the mozzarella and add them to the béchamel sauce, which should be room temperature

Shape the arancine


The finishing touch

Put the anacini in the batter and in the bread crumbs as follows:

  • In a bowl, place the flour
  • Add the egg and water and beat well with whips
  • When the batter is smooth and dense, pass the arancini
  • Immediately after having passed them in the batter, pass the ficoccelle in bread crumbs


  • Fry in plenty of oil until golden brown, to ensure your ficoccelle fry up perfectly, use one of the following oils: peanut oil, olive oil, or palm oil.
  • Heat the oil to the ideal temperature, 190°C, either in a frying pan or by setting the temperature on your deep fryer.
  • If using a pan, you can make sure that the oil has reached the proper temperature by dropping in a bread crumb. If it sizzles, then the oil is ready.
  • Immerse the arancini gently in the oil, only a few at a time, so as to prevent the temperature of the oil from falling too low.
  • When they are done, place the ficoccelle on absorbent paper, then serve.
  • Serve the arancini with sauce on the side.

Enjoy your meal !


Arancine with butter can be customised in countless ways. Other deli meats can be used in place of ham. Likewise, smoked fish or any number of different vegetables could be used to create flavourful vegetarian versions.

Bonus idea

With the addition of champignon mushrooms and ham, the filling in these arancine will be even more delicious!


In modern times, rice has been grown in different areas of Sicily: around Catania, Palermo, Messina, and in the valleys of the Hyblaean Mountains. As a result of the implementation of a number of health and sanitation restrictions (1820) and of the competition posed by northern rice, it gradually ceased to be cultivated, although up until 1870 there were still records of rice paddies on the Plain of Catania. Of the rice grown there, it was said that “it was worth choosing over others, because it contained more starch”. A colloso (glutinous), rice is the ideal for arancine.




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  • Arancinotto Staff