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  • Writer's picturePasta Grammar

Risu D'Azata | Italian Stuffed Rice Casserole Recipe

Watch the Pasta Grammar video where we make this recipe here:

For this recipe, you will need:

- 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

- 1/3 large carrot, diced

- 1/2 stalk celery, diced

- 1/4 white onion, diced

- 10 oz. (280g) ground beef

- 10 oz. (280g) ground pork

- 3 tbsp 'nduja (optional)

- Salt

- Fresh black pepper

- 1/4 cup (60ml) white wine

- 8 oz. (225g) whole peeled tomatoes, crushed with a fork

- 1 3/4 oz. (50g) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus extra for topping

- 3 eggs

- 2-3 oz. (60-80g) fresh breadcrumbs, adjusted to taste

- Vegetable oil for frying

- 15 oz. (425g) carnaroli rice

- 1 cup (240ml) simple tomato sauce

- 2 hardboiled eggs, chopped

- Sliced soppressata (spicy salami) to taste

- Chopped sharp provolone cheese to taste

- Grated pecorino cheese for topping

In a large saucepan, bring 2 tbsp olive oil up to medium temperature. Add the carrot, celery and onion, and sauté for 2-3 minutes or until the onion is tender and slightly transparent.

Add 1/2 lb. (225g) of ground beef and 1/2 lb. (225g) of ground pork. Brown the meat completely while breaking it up into a fine crumble. Stir in the 'nduja (optional) and salt/pepper to taste.

Add the white wine and bring to a simmer. After a few minutes, when the smell of alcohol has dissipated, add the tomatoes and 1/2 cup (120ml) of water. Bring to a gentle simmer, partially cover, and cook for 90 minutes. Add a little more water, as necessary, if the liquid cooks off too fast and the ragù becomes dry and very thick.

Meanwhile, prepare the meatballs. Combine the remaining ground beef and ground pork with 1 egg, 1 3/4 oz. (50g) grated Parmigiano, and a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper. Next add the fresh breadcrumbs, but do so a little at a time and adjust to the humidity and consistency of the mixture. The meatball mix should be soft but not too dense and sticky. Continue to add breadcrumbs until you have a satisfactory mix.

Roll the meat mixture into miniature meatballs, each about the size of a marble. Fill a small saucepan with 1-2 inches of vegetable oil and bring up to medium/high temperature. Test the oil by dropping a breadcrumb in: if it starts to bubble immediately, it's hot enough to fry.

Working in batches, if necessary, fry the meatballs until they become golden brown. Remove to a paper towel to drain and set aside for later.

Bring a large pot of water to boil and salt it generously. Add the rice and cook for 10 minutes, or until the rice is slightly undercooked from "al dente." Drain.

Preheat an oven to 380 degrees F (195 C).

Mix the rice, ragù, 2 tbsp of olive oil, and 2 eggs. Spread roughly one third of the tomato sauce along the bottom of an 11x7-inch casserole dish. Fill the dish with half of the rice mixture, and press it up the sides by hand so as to form a rectangular hollow for the fillings. Spread another third of the tomato sauce over the surface.

In this hollow, spread the chopped hardboiled eggs, slices of soppressata, the fried meatballs, chopped provolone, and a generous grating of pecorino and Parmigiano cheeses.

Close the casserole with the rest of the rice and press it down to flatten the top. Spread the remaining tomato sauce over the top and finish with a grating of Parmigiano and/or pecorino.

Bake for 40 minutes. Allow to cool completely before serving. Buon appetito!


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