Sicilian Christmas Dinner Recipe & Wine Pairings

Christmas is a time to make merry with family and friends. Cultivating Christmas cheer is as easy as serving up a home cooked meal along with excellent wine. Whether you host a big holiday bash or prepare a traditional Christmas meal to share with your family, don't forget to complete the festivities with wine. If you need a little Christmas dinner wine pairing inspiration, we're here to help you.

If you want to put a new spin on your traditional Christmas dinner fare, try serving up a few classic Sicilian dishes. Not only are they incredibly flavorful and delicious, these recipes are perfect with wine.

Arancini di Riso

These fried rice balls are perfect appetizers or sides to the main event.

Ingredients:

• 1 onion, chopped
• 200g of arborio rice
• 50g peas
• 50g tomato sauce
• 150 grams ground beef
• Chicken or vegetable stock (for the arborio)
• 50g of butter
• 50g of Parmesan, grated
• 100g of mozzarella cheese, cut into small cubes
• 2 eggs, whisked
• 100g of breadcrumbs, diced
• Salt and pepper to taste
• Oil for frying

Directions:

Cook the arborio rice following the instructions on the package. Spread it out on a large baking sheet and allow it to cool, then mix in Parmesan and butter. Leave for about an hour to set.

In a large pan, cook the ground beef and onion together until the meat is lightly browned. Drain excess oil then season with salt and pepper. Add tomato sauce, and peas, stirring gently to incorporate.

Scoop some of the cooled rice mixture into your hand and create a bowl shape. Fill this with about a tablespoon of the ragu and add mozzarella. Close the rice around the filling to create a ball. Repeat this until you've used up the rice.

Carefully dip the rice balls into the egg, then roll them in the breadcrumbs.

In a deep skillet, heat oil over a medium-high heat and fry the rice balls for a couple of minutes until they're golden brown. Place them on a paper towel to drain and serve.

You can use different fillings for your arancini like beef, pork, fish, or vegetables. Choose your wine based on what filling you go with.

Wine Pairings
Seafood arancini: Tifeo Bianco, Feo D'o Bianco
Beef, pork, or veal arancini: Tifeo Rosato, Tifeo Rosso

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