Recipes & Pairings

With their crisp acidity and fresh fruit flavors, Sicily’s wines are versatile when it comes to food pairing. In general, white wines are better with lighter-bodied foods and fresh cheeses, while reds pair naturally with richer dishes. That said, white wine lovers can rely on Grillo to complement the entire meal, from pasta to grilled white meats and goat cheese. And the go-to for red-wine lovers is Nero d’Avola, which matches with everything from antipasti to grilled meats.

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  • Rice Balls with Meat Stuffing

Rice Balls with Meat Stuffing

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The acidity in both the Grillo and Nero d’Avola match the tomato sauce’s bright acidity and balance the richness of the beef and cheeses in the filling.

Ingredients:

Rice:

  • 1 lb. 2 oz./ 500 g Carnaroli rice
  • 1 qt./ 1 L water
  • 4 ½ oz./125 g butter
  • 1 ½ oz./ 35 g onion
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 carrot
  • ¼ oz./ 5 g saffron
  • 1 ¾ oz./ 50 g Grana Padano DOP
  • Salt to taste

Filling:

  • 1 lb. 5 oz./ 600 g beef, diced
  • 17 fl. oz./ 500 ml tomato sauce
  • 2 lb. 2 oz./ 1 kg onion, minced
  • 7 oz./ 200 g tomato paste
  • 3 ½ oz./ 100 ml aged wine
  • 3 ½ oz./ 100 g peas
  • 11 oz./ 300 g Primosale cheese
  • 5 ½ fl. oz./ 150 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste

Coating:

  • Pastry flour
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 7 oz./ 200 g breadcrumbs
  • Extra virgin olive oil


Directions:

In a large pot, bring the salted water, onion, celery and carrots to boil. Turn down the heat and let cook over a low flame for at least 30 minutes. Filter the vegetable stock, then add the saffron. When the water is dark yellow add the rice. Cook over medium to high heat until the liquid has evaporated. The rice will be al dente.

Pour the rice into a large baking dish, add the butter and the grated Grana Padano and blend well. While the rice cools, prepare the filling. Heat some olive oil in a pan and add the minced onions. Add the meat and let brown. Add the wine and bubble up to evaporate the alcohol. Then add the tomato sauce and the tomato paste. Add salt, pepper and cinnamon to taste and cook over very low heat. Prod the meat with a fork to make sure it’s tender. Blanch the peas, then drain and add them to the meat. Lastly, add the Primosale cheese cut into small cubes.

Take a small quantity and flatten in the palm of your hand. (Wet your hand before to stop the rice from sticking.) Make a well big enough for a small amount of stuffing, then close the rice over to form a ball. The stuffing should be equal to two-thirds the weight of the arancino, the rice one-third. Moisten the rice balls with water, dredge in the flour, dip in the beaten eggs, and finally coat with breadcrumbs. Fry in a generous amount of oil until golden brown and serve hot. Makes about 25 balls.