Arancini with octopus and potatoesOctopus and potatoes are a pairing that can't go wrong. If you need proof, just think about the classic octopus and potato salad that is popular in many parts of Italy. In transforming this dish into an arancino, we wanted to give it an extra boost of flavour and colour, so we added some cherry tomatoes, tossed into the pan with the other ingredients to create a filling that is truly something special.
Arancinette “alla bagna caoda” with roasted peppersBagna caoda, or bagna cauda (in Sicilian dialect), literally means “warm sauce”. It is a typical sauce from the Piedmont region, made with garlic and anchovies, and makes a wonderful condiment for raw or roasted vegetables. In these arancinette, or arancine in mini-format, the sauce is used to flavour the rice and the filling is made from roasted peppers, which pair beautifully with bagna caoda.
Arancini alla siracusana (Syracuse-style)Syracuse, like all of Sicily, draws upon the rich fruits of the local soil, like Pachino tomatoes, but also on the bounty of the sea, such as sardines. When these flavours come together, the result is marvellous. Be it spaghetti or arancini, the tastes are unique, with all of the freshness and aroma of Mediterranean cuisine. Like the well-loved traditional “pasta ammuddicata”, this sauce from Syracuse also incorporates breadcrumbs, while the addition of cheese gives these arancini a beautifully melting and irresistible centre.
Arancini alla trapanese (Trapani-style)
While it naturally has a strong underlying Sicilian character, the cuisine of Trapani is quite different from that which is found on the rest of the island. It is strongly influenced by other Mediterranean cuisines and, in particular, by Arab traditions, with a predilection for seafood over meat. Lobster and the splendid Gambero Rosso di Mazara (red prawn from Mazara), which is home to the greatest fishing fleet in the Mediterranean, are found in numerous recipes. What makes these red prawns special is their unmistakable flavour, which retains the saltiness of the waters in which it is caught. Trapani-style arancini take their flavour from their rich filling of pesto alla trapanese and red prawns, while the rice is cooked in stock made from the prawns themselves: perfect for the most refined of palates.
Arancinette with salmon and pistachioGiven that the salmon and pistachio filling is particularly rich, it is especially well-suited to be used in arancinette. Indeed, in this smaller format, it is more enjoyable, as its flavour remains well-balanced and does not become too overpowering.
Arancine with sardines
Sarde (sardines) play an important role in Sicilian cuisine, as the main ingredient in a number of particularly well-loved traditional recipes, such as pasta con le sarde (pasta cchi sardi, in dialect) or sarde a beccafico. They are usually prepared using ingredients typical of Sicily's sweet-and-sour culinary tradition, such as raisins, pine nuts and finocchietto (wild fennel).
In transforming them into arancine, we have respected these flavours, but reinterpreted them in a creative fashion. The rice is pleasantly flavoured with wild fennel, while the centre of the arancina is more reminiscent of sarde a beccafico.
Red-rice arancini with salmon tartare and burrata
A new trend on restaurant menus is the pairing of fish with cheese, a combination considered “taboo” until just a decade ago, and the results are often surprising, true explosions of flavour for the palate.
These arancini ‘dare’ to enclose within their centres a fresh and delicate salmon tartare, accompanied by burrata cheese, a delicacy from the Apulia region, and capers, to impart a salty savour. This filling nests inside an outer layer of red rice, a variety that, although it calls for a long cooking time, has a distinctive consistency and is intensely fragrant. Red rice contains little starch and is harder to mould. We therefore recommend using a special arancini mould when making this recipe.
Arancini Stocco (stockfish) “alla ghiotta”Stocco (stockfish) “alla ghiotta”, or stoccu ’a ghiotta (in local dialect), is a traditional dish from the province of Messina, one that is very rich and savoury. Although it is made using fresh codfish, stockfish differs from salt cod in that it is preserved not by salting but by drying, so it needs to be rehydrated before cooking.
Arancini with mussels
Mussels are one of the most common types of shellfish in Italian cuisine, especially in the South. They are often called the “mortadella of the sea”, because they don’t cost much but they’re extremely flavourful. As is also the case in pasta or soups made with mussels, you can really taste the sea in these arancini, because the rice is prepared in the liquid in which the mussels were steamed. The filling is supplemented with cherry tomatoes, which balance its flavour and brighten its colour.