This Arancini with Meat Ragu Recipe is a beautiful dish, made with a lot of love, and so worth every step, because the flavor is out of this world.

Arancini with Meat Ragù Recipe |

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Oh, my gosh, we have the best neighbors. The other night, the doorbell rang. A beautiful plate of Arancini with Meat Ragu Recipe was handed to my son. Our neighbor, Ellie, did it again.

This time she made us dinner, one of her favorite family recipes, and it was so good, I get to share the recipe with you!!

We had such a busy summer, coming and going with our kids, and a few trips, camping in the VW, and this week my husband and I are headed to Kauai. I can’t wait to share more with you–we’re praying the sun will be out. Kauai is the rainy island, but even if we get our share of rain, we’re still going to enjoy the warm beaches and hiking and eating and snorkeling and all the fun things that happen in Hawaii. Plus, we’re going with some of our best friends. You can follow along on instagram if your’e not already following me @SandyCoughlinRE.

One thing that was so inspiring this summer was that our neighbors, Bill and Ellie, had all 7 of their grandkids here for a week. They’re lucky they are so close in ages (3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 8, & 10), because they make great playmates!

What to do in southern Oregon with kids.

In addition to playing lots of games, flying airplanes and jumping on the beds, they went to Rogue Air a couple of times (trampolines are great for exercise), the Rogue Rock Climbing Gym (even the 3-yr old climbed to the top of the wall), ScienceWorks (2 times), the Great Cat Park in Cave Junction, swimming up at the Country Club, the water park, they went to see the new “Minion” movie, and they visited the Historic Carousel & Museum in Albany (which I guess was amazing). Due to the heavy pollution from the west coast forest fires, their outdoor time was limited. Seriously, the month of August for us in Oregon was a blur, especially since we had to spend so much time indoors.

Arancini with Meat Ragù Recipe |

Grandma of the year!

Ellie gets “grandma of the year” award. This cracked me up (yes, she has a lot of energy). She flew to San Diego to pick up 3 of the kids, & returned them home 2 weeks later, and then she flew 2 of the kids back to Anchorage, and returned the next day. It was a hectic 3 weeks (total), but she said so worth it. Here’s her cute little clan. :)

Miller grands

And, they’re already talking about next year!

Arancini with Meat Ragù Recipe |

So when Ellie came knocking on our door with dinner last week, I was actually thinking she should have been in bed resting. LOL

We love our neighbors.

We love our neighbors, we feel very blessed having had so many awesome people in our lives for 10 years in this neighborhood.

Arancini with Meat Ragù Recipe |

Arancini with Meat Ragu Recipe

Now for the yummy rice balls. Or, another name is Arancini, and the meat sauce was served inside the balls, and then on the side. It’s a long recipe, but the outcome is so worth each step!

Serve with a side of tomatoes and a drizzle of DeLallo’s Modenacrem Balsamic Glaze – the very best!


And if you’re a grandparent, I’d love to hear about your summer highlight with your grandkids?

Arancini with Meat Ragù Recipe |

Arancini with Meat Ragù Recipe |
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Arancini with Meat Ragu Recipe

Mild olive oil as needed for frying in deep-fryer heated to 375°F.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
Yield: 8 -10
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  • Rice: 7 cups chicken broth, or as needed, warmed in saucepan
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 cup minced yellow onion
  • cups short-grained rice, Arborio
  • ¾ cups dry white wine
  • 1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Breading: 1 cup flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 Tbsp. cream, or water
  • 3 cups dry bread crumbs
  • Filling: 12 oz. fresh mozzarella, cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 1 cup Meat Ragù drained of excess liquid
  • Ragù: 1 lb. beef top round roast, fat removed, coarsely chopped
  • 1 lb. pork tenderloin, silver skin & fat removed, coarsely chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, or as needed
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ cup dry red wine
  • 4 cups San Marzano tomatoes, or roasted tomatoes from garden: tomatoes, garlic cloves, extra virgin olive oil & chopped basil leaves roasted @ 400°for 45 minutes.
  • ½ cup tomato paste
  • ½ tsp. red pepper flakes


  • For the rice, heat the chicken broth over low heat; keep warm.
  • Heat olive oil and butter in a large pot over low heat. Add the onion and sweat until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and toast lightly without letting the rice or onion take on any color. Add the wine and cook until almost dry. Add some of the broth a little at a time, making sure the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Add more broth as it is absorbed. Cook the rice a little longer than usual so that it is thick and quite sticky, about 25 minutes.
  • Remove rice from heat and add Parmigiano-Reggiano and stir vigorously. Let it cool slightly, then taste, season with salt and pepper, and incorporate the egg yolk, combining it well. Let rice cool.
  • Set up breading ingredients: Put flour in a shallow bowl; beat eggs with cream/water in second bowl; put bread crumbs in third bowl.
  • Form little balls of rice (about 1½ – 2 inches in diameter). Flatten ball into thick pancake. Insert 1 piece of mozzarella and some of the meat. Pinch the rice back into the ball shape to enclose the filling. Dip the rice balls into the flour, then the egg wash, and finally the bread crumbs.
  • Fry the risotto balls until they are golden and crisp on the outside and heated through, about 4 minutes. Drain on paper towels and serve hot with Ragù sauce.
  • For the Ragù, season meats with salt and place in 5-quart pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil and cover the pot. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes (long enough for meat to lose raw color). Add the onion, garlic, basil and bay leaves, stirring to cook the onion evenly (about 5 minutes). Add the wine. Stir to release any of drippings that are sticking to the pan. Let the wine cook down until it has nearly evaporated, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, and red pepper flakes. Stir well and bring sauce to a very gentle simmer for 3 to 4 hours, partially cover the pot, stirring occasionally, and adding water if the sauce seems too thick as it cooks. The finished sauce should be a deep, rich red color.
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