Rice in the oven (Riso al Forno)

Discussion in 'Geek Recipes' started by Shaetano, Mar 2, 2011.

  1. Shaetano

    Shaetano Member

    Apr 22, 2002
    Finally managed to type this out for Stagea :)

    This is Dads favorite dish so my grandmother used to make this fairly often but she is 90 now and hasn't cooked this for a few years. Dad tried to make it a couple of times but he likes to cut corners and it turned out pretty rubbish so I’m now responsible for carrying on the tradition. I've made this a few times and while its comparable to nonna’s there is no school like the old school :)

    This isn’t a recipe I use quantities for as I freeze any leftover sauce & eat the rest in its various forms so apologies in advance. My motto is just be generous!

    Overall recipe is fairly basic, cook rice, mix in tomato sauce, layer in an oven dish with cheese and bake until warmed through / cheese meltiness. We just add some additional textures / flavours into the dish to make it a little more special.

    • Rice (long grain) – 1 cup = ~ 3 cooked cups, how much you need depends on oven tray you are using. The tray pictured is about 5-6 uncooked cups IIRC
    • Mince - 1kg (usually half pork, half beef)
    • Tomato – bottled or tinned puree (~3 -4 litres depending on pot)
    • 2 Med Onions
    • 2 Large Carrots
    • Mozzarella
    • Parmigiano
    • Salt & Pepper
    • Thyme (2-3 springs)
    • Bay leaves (2-3 leaves)
    • Butter
    • Oil
    • Non stick pot
    • Oven tray

    Tomato Sauce / Filling
    Oil your pot and fry the mince in batches (until browned) with a little salt and pepper and try not to eat it all.

    We are only making a basic sauce so peel onions and halve, wash carrots and quarter (can peel them if you wish). In the oil you just fried the mince with brown the onions and carrots and add the tomato puree, pepper, thyme, bay leaves and half of the mince you just cooked. Bring to the boil and then put the temperature down to 30-40% and cook for 1-2hours or until thickened. We don't want a bolognese / ragu so use plenty of tomato.

    Remember to stir occasionally. Taste the sauce to see if it needs a little more salt depending on how much you used when cooking the mince. Less salt is better as you can add it when putting everything together.

    Don’t skimp on the sauce so cook a big pot if you can, you need to coat all the rice you cook. I have a big Bessemer pot so I make as much sauce as possible and I just freeze the leftover for a quick dish of pasta when I want it.
    Once the sauce is reduced, take out the onions and carrots. The onions you can eat or discard. The carrots will be one of the fillings so let them cool and chop them up.

    As we are going to be baking this I try and boil the rice until it is ¾ cooked and spread it out in another tray to cool it down. I’m usually pretty hopeless and end up getting it to al dente so I run it under cold water….

    Once the rice has cooled down, mix through with sauce and a big bunch of parmesan until all coated. Only add as much sauce as you need to coat, you don’t need it runny. Taste it again at this stage to make sure it tastes nice and add salt & pepper if required. While I said don't make it runny, you need to make sure all the rice is coated as digging in to a clump of plain rice is yuck :/

    Grease the tray with the butter. We now basically layer the tray with what we have prepared.

    A layer of rice (about 1cm), sprinkle some sauce, some of the fried mince you put aside, some of the carrot, some extra parmesan and a layer of mozzarella. I cut my mozzarella with a slicer so can get it pretty even, but the rule is be generous.

    Repeat this until you are at the top. If you managed to finish with a layer of rice then I cover with some sauce and mozzarella.

    Bake it in the oven (180c) until the cheese has melted all the way through. If the top is starting to brown and it hasn’t heated through just put some foil over the top.


  2. Pirki

    Pirki Member

    Aug 15, 2005
    Droool that looks pretty good , bet it tastes good to
  3. scon

    scon Member

    Sep 14, 2005
    San Mateo, CA
    Looks good! I imagine it would heat alright for lunches through the week.
  4. OP

    Shaetano Member

    Apr 22, 2002
    Yup. It is a little disconcerting when putting the leftovers into take away containers just how much rice you ate at lunch time lol
  5. Stagea

    Stagea (Banned or Deleted)

    Jan 31, 2010
    Sydney, 2176
    Hurrah! Love your work Shaetano and thank you for your persistence! I'll be attacking this within the next couple of weeks. :thumbup:

    Edit: Payday is getting closer - this is looking more delicious!
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2011

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