Ambitious projects

With my stomach full of toast with barely melted processed cheese, I feel like I should cook something cool tonight.

First, I would like to defend processed cheese: I used to like it a lot as a kid and it is my comfort kind of food or go to junk food for a quick snack. Until today, I never bothered reading the ingredient list. Today I tried, but I am still in denial and stopped after learning that there was only 48% cheese in my slice: the rest was the processed part, I guess.

So tonight, ladies and gentleman – unless I change my mind, which occurs quite often – I will prepare my own version of sartu'.

You can find a couple of lovely recipes here:

Giulia as usual is brilliantly describing how to do it and gives cool links to other authentic recipes 

Letissia gives such a wonderful vegetarian rendition that is mouthwatering 

If you are not familiar with sartu', it is a sort of rice pie with a savory filling of meatballs in tomato sauce, some cheese, boiled eggs and peas. Originally the recipe stems from Campania.

I of course as a northerner never ever tasted it in my entire lifetime, because that’s the way it is here: we all know our local recipes; whenever you move more than 40 km in one direction or the other, everything changes. So it was, at least. Now we are also headed to boring globalization.

Then a few years ago as I was visiting my other half’s relatives in Sicily, I tasted what was to be my only sort of sartu'. I was quite unimpressed, I should say. It was basically plain white rice baked with a filling of ham and peas.

What changed my idea about this recipe was my unpalatable risotto with quinoa from yesterday. I added some dried thyme and I so hated it. Normally when I have leftover grains I transform them into polpette or a casserole. At that moment the rice bake came up to my mind and I had to browse quite a bit in the net (two full minutes, almost like eternity) to find it out.

I will let you know, possibly, if I baked it and if it turned out edible (especially considering the awful thyme).

Update (2015/05/15): I actually did bake it. Amazing how rice sticks together nicely without adding anything: my loved one brought some leftovers for lunch and a colleague recognized it as a timballo. So even if it was left overs creepy thymed risotto, it looked ok, I guess. I used a springform pan (with butter and cornmeal), layered some left over rice, ladled on top cooked veggies (spinach? I can't remember) and fontina. Then again left over rice and a totally outrageous pizza style topping (cheese and cherry tomatoes). I baked it until the cheese was golden and bubbly.


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