Sartù di Riso: the tasty recipe for the Neapolitan baked risotto

Total time: 120 Min
Difficulty: Medium
Serves: 8 people
By Cookist

Sartù di riso, or rice sartu, is a typical dish of the Campania tradition (Italy). It is a Neapolitan timbale of rice stuffed with meatballs, hard-boiled eggs, peas and mozzarella cheese. Rich and tasty, it is perfect for a family dinner, made both with and without tomato sauce.

This is the classic sartù di riso, in which the rice is seasoned with the Neapolitan ragù tomato sauce, a rich meat-based sauce; in this case we used the sausages, then added to the stuffing along with the fried meatballs. Because Neapolitan cuisine is like this; nothing is thrown away, everything is recycled, to create delicious recipes.

Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, the sartù di riso is a dish that is often made during the holidays as it feeds a crowd. It is also beautifully show-stopping because it can be baked in a bundt cake mold taking on a beautiful ring shape.

The preparation is quite long but it is really worth it, and then sartù di riso can be enjoyed even the next day; just heat it in the microwave oven and sartù di riso will taste like you have just baked it.

Sartù di Riso Origins

The Italian word sartù derives from the French expression sour tout, which indicated a garment capable of "covering everything", such as an overcoat or cloak.

In the 18th century the French cooks, who worked in the noble houses, had elaborated this dish based on rice, adding tomato sauce and a rich filling based on meat, eggs, peas.

Anyway, Neapolitan people were mostly pasta lovers and did not prefer rice, because they considered it a poor food and not suitable for succulent preparations. It is said, however, that when King Ferdinand of Bourbon tasted the sartù di riso, he was so pleased that his fame soon spread, allowing rice sartu to enter fully into the Neapolitan culinary tradition.

Tips for making Neapolitan Sartù di Riso

For a vegetarian sartù di riso, you can leave out meat and make vegetarian-friendly meatballs.

You can make the Neapolitan ragù tomato sauce with different types of meat, in this case use two liters of tomato sauce and add pork ribs and beef to the sausages. You will have to cook it for at least three hours. You can simmer the meat with the red wine to make the sauce even more full-bodied.

Grease the mold well and be careful to cover it entirely with the breadcrumbs, because the sartù di riso must have a nice external crust, without risking breaking once it is taken out of the oven. So be careful to make the rice adhere well to the edges of the mold, compacting it gently.

It is not necessary to use a bundt cake mold, you can also cook the rice sartu in a simple baking dish of the shape you prefer.

How to store Sartù di Riso

The sartù di riso can be stored in the refrigerator, covered with a sheet of cling film, for 2 days. Freezing is not recommended.

for the ragù sauce
Tomato sauce
750 ml
300 g
White wine
50 ml
Extra virgin olive oil
for the meatballs
ground veal or beef
200 g
80 g
Grated parmesan cheese
40 g
for the rice
ribe or arborio rice
400 g
Medium eggs
Grated parmesan cheese
150 g
for the stuffing
Frozen or fresh peas
200 g
Mozzarella cheese
150 g
hard-boiled eggs
ham, cut into cubes
50 g
Extra virgin olive oil
to garnish

How to make Sartù di Riso

Proceed with the preparation of the sauce; in a saucepan, fry ½  chopped onion with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Add the sausages.

Sauté for a few minutes.

Simmer with the white wine and then pour the tomato puree, then add a pinch of salt. Cook for at least 1 hour.

In a small bowl put the breadcrumbs to soak in milk. In a separate container pour the minced meat, then add a pinch of salt, pepper and the breadcrumbs dipped in milk.

Add the eggs.

Mix the ingredients well, incorporating the grated parmesan cheese.

Knead to form a homogeneous mixture.

Form the meatballs, slightly larger than a hazelnut.

Continue until the dough is finished.

Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a pan and fry the meatballs.

Once cooked, drain and transfer the meatballs to a plate covered with absorbent kitchen paper.

Meanwhile, in a pan with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, brown ½  onion, cut into small pieces, and add the peas.

Also add the diced baked ham and dried mushrooms, then cook for 20 minutes.

When the ragù tomato sauce is ready, take the meat and set it aside 15

Bring the ragù tomato sauce to a boil and add the rice.

Cook the rice adding, if needed, a few ladles of hot water.

Stir in the grated parmesan cheese and beaten eggs.

Add a third of the peas.

Take a bundt cake mold, butter it and sprinkle it with breadcrumbs. Line the bottom and edges of the mold with half the rice.

Compact well.

Add the rest of the peas and the meatballs to the center.

Also add the hard-boiled eggs into small pieces.

Complete with a little ragù tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese and sausage into small pieces.

Cover with the rest of the rice.

Mash well to make the rice stick to the filling.

Sprinkle the surface with breadcrumbs and a few sprigs of butter.

Cook at 180° C (356° F) for about thirty minutes. Once baked, take sartù di riso out of the oven and let it cool for about ten minutes; then turn the sartù di riso upside down on a serving dish.

Slice and serve.

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