Monday, May 18, 2009

Sartu', Neapolitan Rice Timbale

I picked up La Cucina Italiana for the first time and decided to try this recipe out of the March/April 2009 issue. The preparation made for an enjoyable Sunday afternoon in the kitchen and my time spent was well-worth the impressive and delicious outcome. We served the Sartu' with roasted asparagus, bread and a nice bottle of Chianti.

Sartu', Neapolitan Rice Timbale
From La Cucina Italiana, March/April 2009, No. 9
2 hours, 30 minutes - 6 servings

  • 1 ounce dried wild mushrooms
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste concentrate (from tube)
  • 7 cups chicken or beef broth, heated to a simmer
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/3 pound pork sausage
  • 2/3 pound ground beef
  • 3 large eggs (printed recipe states 3 eggs, but instructions only call for one)
  • 5 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 5 tablespoons fine plain breadcrumbs, plus more for mold
  • 3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for mold
  • 4 ounces chicken livers, cut into small pieces
  • 2 1/2 cups Arborio rice
  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into cubes

Special Equipment: a 2-quart mold or ovenproof bowl.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Soak dried mushrooms in 2 cups hot water for 20 minutes; drain, reserving liquid, and finely chop.

In a large saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat.
Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.
Dilute tomato paste in 1 cup broth, then add to pan with onion.
Add mushrooms, peas and pinch salt and pepper; bring to a simmer.

Add sausage and simmer, covered, until sausage is nearly cooked through, about 10 minutes.
Transfer sausage to a cutting board and slice into 1/4 inch pieces.
Return pieces to skillet and simmer, uncovered, until liquid is mostly evaporated, about 10 minutes more.
Remove from heat.

In a bowl, stir together beef, 1 egg, 1 tablespoon Parmigiano-Reggiano, 1 tablespoon breadcrumbs, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Form into 1 1/2 inch balls.

In a large skillet, heat remaining 3 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking.
Dust meatballs lightly with flour and fry in 2 batches until golden on all sides, about 5 minutes.
Drain on paper towels.

Drain oil from skillet and wipe clean with paper towels.
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in skillet over medium-high heat.
Add liver and pinch salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until liver is cooked through, about 2 minutes.

Add liver and meatballs to skillet with sausage, stir to combine.

Combine remaining 6 cups broth and mushroom liquid in a large saucepan; bring to a boil.
Add rice, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain rice; spread onto a large plate and let cool to room temperature.
Transfer rice to a large bowl; stir in 4 tablespoons butter and remaining 4 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano while still warm.

Grease mold or ovenproof bowl with butter and dust with breadcrumbs.
Put 1 1/2 cups of the rice mixture into bowl and press into base and up sides, forming a well in the center.

Pour meat sauce into well; top with mozzarella.

Then cover with remaining rice.
Cover with remaining 1 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces, and remaining 4 tablespoons breadcrumbs.
Bake for 1 hour.

Remove mold from oven; transfer to wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes.
Run a knife around edges of mold to loosen rice, then invert onto a large serving plate.

Serve immediately.

1 comment:

Stacy Lanson said...

Denise..... Congratulations on the launch of your FANTASTIC blog. I had always hoped you'd produce one! You, Diver, Dooley, and your beloved John all look stellar. I can attest to your amazing culinary artistry, and have many fond memories of your creations and festivities. I wish you all the very best! Love to all, Stacy L.