Last week, I had friends from out of town over for dinner. I rarely have anyone over for dinner on nights I work, because it's just too much stress trying to get everything done in the short period of time after you get home and before your guests arrive. But this was the only night we could get together, so I just thought I'd make something I could do most of ahead of time. I happened to be looking at Palma's blog that day, and saw a recipe I thought I had to make. It was a rice dish that could be made the day before, and it was just perfect. You cook all of the layers separately, then layer them into a spring-form pan. The layers consist of cheesy arborio rice, a ricotta/mozzeralla cheese filling, a broccoli/pancetta layer, a sausage layer, and it's all topped with a Parmesan-Cream topping. I assembled the whole thing, and covered it with foil. The next evening, I preheated my oven then baked it about 1 hour 15 minutes. While it was baking, I made a salad dressing using strawberry vinegar, blood orange olive oil(darn, I used the last of it), dijon mustard, salt and pepper. Then I tossed a salad of mixed lettuces, orange segments, and sliced strawberries. Heated up some bread, and that was it. Served with a nice red wine, it was a perfect meal. I have no pictures of dessert, but it was the mixed fruit crostada that I talk about on the post for mascarpone cheese.
Pasticcio di Riso (adapted from Palmabella's Passions)
1 pound Arborio rice (2 cups)
1 cup white wine
3-1/2 cups rich chicken stock
3 eggs beaten
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Combine the rice, chicken stock, and 1 cup white wine in a 4 quart saucepan. Bring to boil over high heat, stirring several times with a fork. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook 20 minutes or until the rice is still a little firm to the bite. Combine eggs and cheese and stir into rice. Set aside.
1 pound ricotta cheese
8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, chopped
10 fresh sage leaves
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Combine all ingredients.
Finely chop one large head of broccoli.
Saute it with 2-3 oz. chopped pancetta and 1 T. olive oil.
Saute 1 pound of bulk Italian sausage (or remove from casings) until browned. Drain.
Bring 1/2 cup chicken broth to a boil.
Quickly whisk in 1 c. grated parmesan cheese and 3 T. olive oil.
Whisk in 1/4 c. cream or half and half.
(For some reason my topping was really runny. I let it set overnight and it thickened up, then I just spread it on the dish before baking.
Heat oven to 350.
Spray a 10 inch springform pan with cooking spray.
Begin with one-third of rice, pressing it firmly into pan, evenly. Top with half of cheese filling, then sausage. Press in another third of rice, the remaining cheese filling, then broccoli. Top with the rest of the rice. Spread parmesan-cream filling on top, leaving one inch all the way around for it to spread to the edges when cooking.
Bake 1 hour. Let cool 10 minutes before cutting into wedges to serve.