Cook & Prep Time

2 h




This popular rice ball snack stuffed with meat and tomato sauce with peas is a typical street food from Sicily that is easy to carry and to eat on the go but also filling enough for a quick lunch break.


  • 400g rice, boil in salted water until al dente and drain
  • 1/2 sachet of saffron
  • 100g butter
  • 150g minced meat (beef, veal)
  • 400g canned organic whole peeled tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • 100g shelled peas, blanched and sautéed in half the butter
  • 6 eggs, 3 eggs for the rice mixture and 3 eggs seasoned with salt and pepper for the coating
  • 75g fresh caciocavallo cheese (or another stretch-curd cow’s milk cheese), cut into cubes
  • 800 ml oil for frying
  • ½ onion, chopped finely
  • 300g flour
  • 300g breadcrumbs
  • salt and pepper


Step 1

Mix the boiled rice with saffron, 3 eggs and half the butter while it is still hot. Mix in the sautéed peas. Let it cool.

Step 2

Heat a deep saucepan, drizzle with a little oil and gently fry the chopped onion until soft and translucent. Add the minced meat seasoned with salt and pepper and the chopped, canned organic whole peeled tomatoes, cover the saucepan and let it simmer.

Step 3

To prepare the rice balls, take some of the rice mixture and shape it into a shell. Fill them in the centre with the meat sauce and a small cube of caciocavallo cheese, and cover with more rice mixture to close. Shape it into a round ball.

Step 4

Dip the balls in flour, then in seasoned egg mixture beaten and finally dip them in breadcrumbs to fully coat them.

Step 5

Heat a large amount of oil in a heavy pot over medium-high heat. Be sure to use enough oil to completely cover the rice ball. Deep fry each rice ball until golden brown. Set the balls aside on kitchen paper to absorb the excess oil.

Serve warm.