Lunchbreak: Arancini

Midday News

Chef Tony Priolo

Go to for more information about the first “Mariano’s Cookbook” featuring 50+ recipes from top local chefs to benefit the Illinois Restaurant Association Educational Foundation Restaurant Employee Relief Fund.

The cookbook is now available in all 44 Chicagoland Mariano’s locations for $6.99 and features chefs like Brian Jupiter from Frontier, Ina Mae Tavern and Packaged Goods, Sarah Grueneberg from Monteverde Restaurant & Pastificio, Tony Priolo from Piccolo Sogno, Todd Stein from Quartino Restaurant, Lamar Moore from Bugsy & Meyers Steakhouse, Tigist Reda from Demera, and Carrie Nahabedian from Brindille, among many others.  





1 cup arborio or carnaroli rice

1 onion diced

1 tbs olive oil

1 tbs unsalted butter

¼ cup white wine

¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

¼ cup flour

3 eggs beaten

1 cup bread crumbs

2 ½ cups saffron broth

¼ cup meat ragu or Bolognese sauce chilled

Sea salt and black pepper to taste


A pinch of saffron threads and 2 ½ cups of chicken broth

Heat chicken broth over medium heat and add in one pinch of saffron.


In a large pot, heat the olive oil and onions. Cook about three minutes stirring constantly. Deglaze the pan with white wine. Add rice and cook for another three minutes, stirring constantly. Add half of the saffron broth and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then after turn down to a simmer. Stir constantly to make the rice creamy. Keep adding the broth in small parts until the rice is cooked through. When the rice is done (about 17 minutes start to finish) take off heat and add the remaining butter and cheese, stirring constantly. Adjust the seasoning and place on a flat pan to cool. Mean while, whisk three eggs creating an egg wash. When the rice is chilled, form into small bite size balls and stuff with a small spoon full of meat ragu or Bolognese sauce. Make sure the rice is covering all sides of the ball. Continue until all the rice has been formed into bite size balls. Roll rice balls into flour, then dip them into egg wash and then finally bread crumbs, making sure they are evenly coated. Fry the balls for 2 minutes in 350 degree oil, when they are done place them on a towel to drain excess oil. Season with sea salt and serve.

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