Rice Timbale (Like Baked Arancini)

READY IN: 3hrs




  • Oil a 5-pint casserole dish (such as a Corningware souffle dish) 8-10 inches in diameter and coat lightly with dry breadcrumbs. This will serve as your timbale mold. Put aside.
  • For the meatballs, combine the beef, soft breadcrumbs, 2 1/2 tablespoons parmesan, parsley, 1 egg, salt and pepper in a bowl (add a minced clove of garlic, if desired). Mix thoroughly to achieve a medium-soft consistency. Add a second egg if the mixture is too dry.
  • Form meatballs the size of a large cherry and fry in 2 tablespoons of oil until lightly brown (alternatively, bake in the oven at 350°F for 15 minutes).
  • Simmer 1 1/4 cups of the sauce in a pot, drop in the meatballs, and simmer for 15 minutes. Set aside.
  • For the pea filling, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a pan and add the bacon, the peas, a pinch of salt, and 1/4 cup water. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Add the sausage meat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, until the sausage changes color.
  • Stir in the chicken livers and the wine. Simmer for 5 minutes. Taste for salt and set aside.
  • For the rice mixture and assembly, preheat the oven to 375°F Bring the beef stock and 1/2 cup of the spaghetti sauce to a boil in an ovenproof casserole, stir in the rice, cover and bake for 10 minutes.
  • When it comes out of the oven the rice will be underdone and very moist. Stir in 3/4 cup parmesan, 2 well-beaten eggs, and some freshly-ground pepper. Mix thoroughly.
  • Spoon 3/4 of the rice mixture into the prepared timbale mold, pressing firmly against the sides and bottom, leaving a hollow in the center.
  • Cover the bottom of the hollow with half the mozzarella, then half the ham. Add the pea mixture, then the meatballs with their sauce, the mushrooms (here you could use sauteed cultivated mushrooms; it is more authentically Italian to use dried porcini mushrooms), and finally the remaining mozzarella and ham.
  • Cover with the remaining rice, sprinkle the top with dry breadcrumbs and dot with butter.
  • Bake in the oven at 375°F for one hour or until a golden crust forms. Remove from oven and let settle for 10 minutes, then unmold on a serving platter. Serve immediately.