I just returned from a couple weeks in Rome and Sicily, two places close to my heart (and stomach). When in Rome, the quintessential snack and accompaniment to any pizza is the beloved suppli – a ball of rice (risotto) stuffed with marinara and mozzarella, coated in breadcrumbs, and then fried. Simple, yet genius. No words can describe the deliciousness of that first bite – the perfect ratio of sauce to melted cheese. Be sure to snag one, heated of course, at any pizzeria in Rome or the Lazio region.
Then I arrived in Sicily, and came across arancini. Sort of like a suppli in that it’s a fried ball of rice, but that’s where the similarities end. Arancini originated in Sicily so it’s THE place to try it, a Sicilian emblem, if you will. They can be found anywhere. Arancini are much larger than suppli. They can be a meal rather than a side to pizza. The most common arancini is stuffed with ragu and peas. There are plenty of other variations ranging from prosciutto and cheese to carrots and onions, and other meat fillings. The best thing about them is they are there when you need them, and can be found in all regions of Sicily.