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Arancini Siciliani (Rice balls with bolognese sauce)

This was one of my favourite treats before I was vegan, now I am vegan it still is. I had to replace the ingredients but still keep the same qualities that made me love it, an Italian recipe that a dear from Sicily shared with me when we lived together in Australia.



- 2 cups of long grain rice - 1/2 cup of soya mince

- 1 litter of water - 3 cloves of chopped garlic

- 1 big onion chopped in squares - 1 tomato passata

- 3 cloves of garlic grated - 1 chopped onion

- 1 tbsp vegetable stock (or to taste) - 1 grated carrot

- Mixed herbs - Bay leaves

- 1 can of tomatoes - 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary (or to taste)

- Peas (optional)

To put together:

- 1/2 cup of flour

- 100ml of water

- Salt & pepper

- Bread crumbs

- 100 gr. grated soya cheese

- 1 litre of oil of your choice


For the rice, fry onion and garlic in any oil of your choice (I used the oil from sun-dried tomatoes I had to give it extra flavour). Add rice when onion is a bit softer, and continue to fry stirring from time to time.

In the meanwhile, put water to boil, once it had boiled mix water with veggie stock, add 4 cups of water and cover pan, let it cook for around 15 minutes and add water little by little depending on its consistency, you want sticky rissoto like rice, so add as much water as it needs and continue cooking until is nice, soft and sticky.

NOTE: If you don't have much time to prepare the rice, you can use the rice cooker, adding the same ingredients and it will cook itself, it does not have the same rich flavours but it does the job =)


For the Ragu, place soya mince on a bowl, cover in boiling water with a bit of vegetable stock (1 tsp) and you could even add soya sauce for a bit more taste, then allow it to sit down for roughly 5 minutes. Chop onion in squares ( I used the food processor), and fry this with garlic and chopped rosemary on a frying pan for 5 minutes, then add grated carrot, soya mince, bay leaves and fry for a few more minutes. Add tomato passata (I used Tomato & basil from brand "Seeds of Life" ) and allow it to cook a bit longer, then get a taste and once the onion is fully cooked, it means it's ready.


Let the rice and ragu sit for a while until they cool down so that you can start making the rice balls without burning your hands

Then mix flour, water, salt and pepper in a little bowl.

Add water to another bigger bowl to wash your hands.

Grate soya cheese.

Place breadcrumbs on a plate.

Grab a handful of rice and flatten it out with your hands, spoon a tablespoon of the filling mixture into the centre and then sprinkle cheese on top.

Wet your predominant hand (right hand for me) with the water and grab another handful of rice, you can use the top of your not predominant hand to flatten it out, and then place that layer of rice on top the ingredients in your predominant hand.

Wrapping it around, turn it into a little ball or cone squeezing the rice ball so it's nice and strong.

Then use the flour mixture to make the whole rice cones wet and then coat the wet arancini with the breadcrumbs.

Heat a litre of oil until it boils in a deep pan, carefully place a few arancinis on the pan and fry for 5-10 minutes until golden.

Serve with bit of extra sauce as an entrée or main dish. Enjoy!

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