We’ve Been Waiting for this Carbonara-Arancini Mash-Up at Benny Casanova’s

When it comes to the ultimate in takeout-friendly comfort food, Italian arancini ticks all the right boxes: It’s crispy, compact, bite-sized, and can be filled with a variety of warm, homey goodness, as seen at Philadelphia’s new ghost kitchen, Benny Casanova’s. Executive Chef/Owner Franklin Becker fills his version of the Sicilian snacks with flavors inspired by Italian pasta classics, from carbonara to cacio e pepe. “Benny Casanova’s is kind of like a ‘greatest hits’ album,” says Becker. “It is an homage to my time in Brooklyn and pays respect to Philadelphia’s Italian population.”

For his carbonara arancini, he wraps cooled risotto around carbonara filling (made with cream cheese, Parmesan, Pecorino, mozzarella, peas, and guanciale) before coating the mix in breadcrumbs and frying them up into balls. “Peas and cheese and guanciale are as natural with rice as they are with pasta,” says Becker, who sells the arancini in servings of two or four, with an even more comforting marinara sauce on the side. 

Liz Grossman is the managing editor of Plate. ​