Sunday, June 28, 2020

Rice Ball Casserole

My niece Christine inherited the cooking and baking genes of the Mancuso/LaSasso families. This girl is rocking and rolling in the kitchen.  She has donated many delicious recipes to her old aunt and this one is exceptional.  If you love Sicilian Rice Balls but don't dare attempt to make them...try her recipe for Rice Ball Casserole. You will not be disappointed.

  • 3 cups long grain rice uncooked
  • 6 cups of water
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pound 90% lean ground beef
  • 1 garlic clove- diced
  • 1 medium onion- chopped
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 28-ounces (3 +1/2 cups) Mom's Quick Marinara Sauce - divided
  • 2 Tbsp grated cheese
  •  olive oil cooking spray
  • 1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 1+ 1/2 cup shredded part-skim/whole milk mozzarella
  • Extra heated marinara sauce needed for serving

  1. First, cook the rice with 6 cups of water, add 1 teaspoon of salt, and follow directions on the package. Transfer rice to a large mixing bowl, add the butter, mix, and set aside to cool.
  2. In the meantime, using a medium skillet, sauté onion and garlic in olive oil for 2 minutes. Add the ground beef and cook meat until browned and well cooked. Using a wooden spoon, break the chopped meat while cooking. Season with salt and pepper. Add peas and 8 ounces (1 cup) of tomato sauce. Cover with a lid and simmer on low heat for 5 minutes. Turn off heat.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine rice with eggs, pecorino cheese, 8-ounces (1 cup) of marinara sauce, and mix well. Rice will be sticky.
  5. Spray a 13 x 9 casserole dish, including all four sides, with cooking spray. Add breadcrumbs to the baking dish, roll the dish until bottom and all sides are coated with breadcrumbs.
  6. Take half of the rice mixture and cover the bottom of the dish and pressing down to form a layer.
  7. Add the entire meat and peas mixture to cover the rice. Spread an additional ladle (or about 1/2 cup, or more if needed) of marinara sauce over the meat and peas mixture. Then scatter with a layer of shredded mozzarella on top.
  8. Add the remaining rice and press with the back of a spoon until the layer is even.
  9. Top with remaining marinara sauce. Sprinkle with some grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and top with a layer of shredded mozzarella.
  10. Cover with foil and Bake @ 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 5 minutes until the mozzarella is melted. Remove and cut into 12 squares. Serve with extra sauce heated.
  11. Serves 8 to 12
Note: You may want to cut this recipe in half for smaller gatherings.

No comments:

Post a Comment