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Stefano Manfredi arancini in tomato and basil sauce

Stefano Manfredis Arancini in tomato and basil sauce

Preparation time
30 Minutes
Cooking time
15 Minutes
100 Arancini Balls weighing 30g

Pair this classic Italian dish with a juicy Italian variety like Barbera, that pairs nicely with any Italian feast.


For the sauce (makes 1.5L)

8 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 onion, minced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1.5kg tinned whole peeled tomatoes, puréed

1 cup fresh basil leaves, roughly torn

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


1kg carnaroli rice

1.5L tomato and basil sauce (see above)

1L vegetable stock

300g grated parmesan

300g fior di latte mozzarella balls, cut into 1cm cubes


4 whole eggs 

1L extra virgin olive oil

Recipe by: Stefano Manfredi

Photography by: Kitti Gould


1. For the sauce: Heat the olive oil in a pan and gently fry the onion and garlic until transparent. Add the tomato and basil. Season with a couple of pinches of salt and a little pepper. Stir well and simmer slowly until the sauce thickens and most of the water has evaporated. Depending on the tomatoes, this should take 15–20 minutes. Adjust seasoning if necessary.

2. In a large saucepan bring the tomato and basil sauce to a simmer. Add the rice and cook until the tomato reduces and loses its water. 

3. Add the boiling vegetable stock and simmer until the rice is cooked. Take off the heat and add the parmesan, mixing well. Put aside to cool down. 

4. Shape the arancini balls; they should be about the size of a golf ball. Place a cube of mozzarella in the centre of each. Beat the eggs in a bowl and pass the rice balls through the egg wash. Coat in breadcrumbs. 

5. Deep-fry arancini balls in olive oil for 5–6 minutes at 170ºC. Drain on absorbent paper and serve hot with some more tomato and basil sauce and a sprinkling of parmesan. 

Stefano’s note: Once formed, arancini can be frozen before deep frying. Extra virgin olive oil is the best for cooking as well as dressing, and makes for much more flavoursome arancini. 

Wine Match


Preparation Time
30 Minutes
Cooking Time
15 Minutes
100 Arancini Balls weighing 30g