Sartu di Riso

When it comes to traditional Neapolitan cuisine, I don’t think it gets much more incredible than sartu di riso. It was something my Nana Lulu made for special occasions but it seemed too intimidating for me to cook myself. When I saw a recipe for it though, it just spoke to the Italian in me and I had to try making my own version! It took some time, work and love but oh my goodness was it worth it! I started on the filling first by making my homemade gravy.

The key to flavor in my gravy is what I affectionately call the "package of deliciousness". I cut the rind off of the parmesan wedge I was using and wrapped it up in cheesecloth with thyme, bay leaves, rosemary and peppercorns.
The key to flavor in my gravy is what I affectionately call the “package of deliciousness”. I cut the rind off of the parmesan wedge I was using and wrapped it up in cheesecloth with thyme, bay leaves, rosemary and peppercorns.
I submerged that package of deliciousness in a big pot of aromatics, red wine and crushed tomatoes. That was going to become one amazing gravy for the sartu di riso!
I submerged that package of deliciousness in a big pot of aromatics, red wine and crushed tomatoes. That was going to become one amazing gravy for the sartu di riso!
Then I started on the meatballs. The first step was to make a panada. I soaked bread in milk instead of using breadcrumbs. It was an incredible way to make juicy meatballs!
Then I started on the meatballs. The first step was to make a panada. I soaked bread in milk instead of using breadcrumbs. It was an incredible way to make juicy meatballs!
I worked that milk soaked bread in with the rest of the meatball ingredients and quickly formed them. These meatballs were going to be the star of the sartu di riso!
I worked that milk soaked bread in with the rest of the meatball ingredients and quickly formed them. These meatballs were going to be the star of the sartu di riso!
I browned the meatballs and then added them to the gravy. I also added a bunch of frozen peas. All of that goodness simmered together for 2 hours.
I browned the meatballs and then added them to the gravy. I also added a bunch of frozen peas. All of that goodness simmered together for 2 hours.
While the filling for the sartu di riso simmered, I cooked the rice for the crust. Once it cooked and cooled, I stirred in lots of parmesan and a couple of eggs to finish it.
While the filling for the sartu di riso simmered, I cooked the rice for the crust. Once it cooked and cooled, I stirred in lots of parmesan and a couple of eggs to finish it.
I greased my bundt pan very liberally with butter and dusted it equally well with breadcrumbs. That was so important to make sure the sartu di riso would come out! Then I used wet fingertips to form the rice into the pan to make the crust.
I greased my bundt pan very liberally with butter and dusted it equally well with breadcrumbs. That was so important to make sure the sartu di riso would come out! Then I used wet fingertips to form the rice into the pan to make the crust.
I mixed diced up fresh mozzarella into my meatball filling and spooned it into the well of the bundt pan. There was lots of sauce leftover for serving!
I mixed diced up fresh mozzarella into my meatball filling and spooned it into the well of the bundt pan. There was lots of sauce leftover for serving!
I used my remaining rice to form the bottom of the sartu di riso and dotted the bottom with butter so it would brown up a little. Then it was ready to bake!
I used my remaining rice to form the bottom of the sartu di riso and dotted the bottom with butter so it would brown up a little. Then it was ready to bake!

Once it baked for 45 minutes, I let the sartu di riso cool for at least 30 minutes. Then I used my offset spatula to very gently loosen it more from the sides and middle of the pan. I put my big cake plate on top of the bundt pan upside down, said a little prayer and flipped it over. I left the bundt pan on for a minute, then gently lifted it off. The sartu di riso was ready to serve with extra sauce! I was so excited to eat that I forgot to take a photo of it in its entirety. Let me tell you, the work was all worth it. The rice was buttery and firm as the crust, with the incredible gravy and meatballs as the filling. What a showstopper! Buon appetito, friends. xoxo

Sartu di Riso
Sartu di Riso
5 from 1 vote
Sartu di Riso
Sartu di Riso
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
3 hrs
Total Time
4 hrs 10 mins
 

Sartu di riso is a show stopping, traditional Neapolitan dish. Rice is molded to make an incredible crust filled with meatballs, gravy, peas and mozzarella!

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Sartu di Riso
Servings: 8
Calories: 592 kcal
Author: Jeanie and Lulu's Kitchen
Ingredients
FOR THE FILLING
  • 2 whole bay leaves
  • 1 whole rind of parmesan cheese cut away from the wedge needed for the dish
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 6 whole black peppercorns
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled
  • 2 whole carrots peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 stalks celery cut into chunks
  • 1 whole onion peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 sprig Fresh basil leaves
  • 1 dash olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 cans crushed tomatoes 28 ounce size
  • 2 slices sandwich bread crusts removed and cubed
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch dried onion
  • 1 pinch dried oregano
  • canola oil for pan frying
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1 ball fresh mozzarella diced, 8 ounce size (added at the very end)
FOR THE RICE CRUST
  • 1/2 stick butter plus additional for the bundt pan
  • 2 1/3 cups long grain rice
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 7 tablespoons breadcrumbs for coating the bundt pan
Instructions
  1. First, prepare the sauce. Use a big square of cheese cloth to wrap up the bay leaves, parmesan rind, thyme, rosemary, and peppercorns in a tight package. Tie the package with kitchen twine to keep it closed. Set it aside. Combine the garlic, carrots, celery, onion and basil in the bowl of a food processor. Run the processor to puree them all together into an aromatic mixture. Get out a large dutch oven and heat the olive oil in it over medium high heat.
  2. Pour the pureed aromatics into the pot and let them get bubbly and fragrant for about 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and let it cook for 30 seconds with the aromatics. Then pour in the red wine, Worcestershire and crushed tomatoes. Let the sauce come to a gentle boil and submerge the cheesecloth sachet of deliciousness in it. Reduce the heat to simmer.
  3. Prepare the meatballs while the sauce begins simmering. In a bowl, combine the cubed bread and milk. Let the bread soak in the milk for 15 minutes. While they soak combine the ground beef, eggs, parmesan, salt, dried onion, and dried oregano in a large mixing bowl. Remove the bread cubes from the milk and gently squeeze the excess milk out of them. Add them to the bowl of the rest of the ingredients and mix everything together well with clean hands.
  4. Form small, palm sized meatballs out of the mixture and set them on a lined tray. Get out a cast iron skillet and fill it with about an inch of canola oil. Heat it over high heat. Brown the meatballs in the skillet in batches, removing them with a slotted spoon to a plate as they are done. Turn the heat down as necessary if the oil gets too hot. When they are all browned, add them to the pot of sauce. Also add the frozen peas at this point. Give the mixture a stir and let it simmer together for 2 hours.
  5. While the filling mixture simmers, prepare the rice for the crust. Heat the butter in a large pot over medium high heat. Stir the rice in the butter and just lightly toast the rice for a minute. Pour in the chicken stock and let it come to a gentle boil. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Let the rice cook for about 20 minutes, until it absorbs all of the liquid. Fluff it up with a fork and set it aside. Allow it to cool to room temperature. Once it has cooled, stir in the parmesan and eggs to make the perfect crust mixture. Set it aside.
  6. When the filling is done simmering, take it off the heat and let it cool. While it cools, pre-heat the oven to 350 and get out a bundt pan. Grease the bundt pan very well all over with the butter, then dust it with the breadcrumbs. It is very important to coat the entire pan, including the middle, with the breadcrumbs to help the cake release.
  7. Keep a small bowl of water handy to make the rice crust. It helps to dampen your finger tips when forming it. Take the rice and form a solid layer 3/4 up the inside and middle of the bundt pan. You'll use about 2/3 of the rice to do this. Take the cooled filling and stir the mozzarella into it. Spoon it into the well of the bundt pan and pack it down to make sure it is even. There will be lots of sauce leftover to warm up for serving. Use the remaining rice to form a solid bottom crust. Dot little bits of butter on the bottom crust to help it brown. Bake the sartu di riso for 45-50 minutes. The bottom should be golden and a solid crust.
  8. Let the cake cool for 30 or so minutes to really set. When it has cooled, gently run an offset spatula along the edges and middle to help release it. Put a large plate that fits over the bundt pan on it upside down and carefully flip it over. Leave the bundt pan on it for a minute, then gently take it off to reveal the gorgeous cake! Slice it and serve immediately with the remaining sauce and some fresh basil for garnish.
Nutrition Facts
Sartu di Riso
Amount Per Serving (1 slice)
Calories 592 Calories from Fat 204
% Daily Value*
Fat 22.7g35%
Saturated Fat 11.5g72%
Cholesterol 139mg46%
Sodium 1181mg51%
Potassium 309mg9%
Carbohydrates 60.6g20%
Fiber 3.5g15%
Sugar 5.4g6%
Protein 30.4g61%
Calcium 250mg25%
Iron 6.3mg35%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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This is such a fantastic, show stopping sartu di riso. It's a classic Neapolitan rice cake filled with homemade marinara, meatballs and cheese! #ricecake #sartudiriso #rice #meatballs #marinara #jeanieandluluskitchen
Sartu di Riso

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