As far as visual appeal goes, this pie is a show stopper! It tastes as impressive as it looks but the reality is, it’s a really, really easy pie to make and also a great way of using up leftovers!
This version has bacon in it, but I’ve also made it with some shredded chicken and it’s sensational either way.
Don’t let the ‘risotto-ness’ of the pie put you off. There’s no standing at the stove, pouring ladle after ladle of hot stock onto your rice as you stir, stir, stir. What results is a lovely, creamy rice, that I’ve made as our family meal more than once!
You will need a good, deep spring form tin or similar with a removable base. I picked up at great deep 20cm tin at Woolies the other day, and that’s what I used for the pie in the pictures.
Leftovers, if there are any, are amazing for lunch the next day. Actually, this pie screams ‘picnic’! Make one tonight, then chuck the picnic blanket in the car and head for lunch al fresco tomorrow (or, like us, you could bring out the old board games and hold a Connect 4 championship!)!
For the rice:
3 cloves garlic
2 celery sticks
1 cup arborio rice
2.5 cups hot vegetable stock.
For the pie:
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup milk
1 cup chopped greens (I use silverbeet, but you could use kale, baby spinach or whatever dark, leafy green you have)
2 Tablespoons chopped parsley
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
6 eggs – lightly beaten
4 rashers of bacon (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
Breadcrumbs (I use GF) to line the tin.
1 ripe tomato to top the pie.
Use a food processor to chop the onion, garlic, carrot and celery (or do it by hand).
Heat a tablespoon of oil in a casserole dish and sweat over medium heat for a few minutes.
Add the rice and stir, coating the rice and ‘toasting’ it lightly.
Pour in the hot stock, stir, cover and leave to simmer on low heat for around 15 minutes or until the rice is cooked. Leave it to cool completely.
While the rice is cooking, fry the bacon in a small frying pan and put aside.
Saute or boil the spinach until wilted, drain and set aside.
In a separate bowl mix the cheeses, milk, eggs, parsley, salt & pepper.
Add the bacon, spinach and rice mix.
Stir well to combine.
Grease and line the base of a springform/removable base cake tin with baking paper and line the sides with breadcrumbs.
Pour mix into a prepared 20cm deep springform/removable base cake tin and place the sliced tomato on top. Cook in a pre-heated 180 degree oven for around 80 minutes or until the top is golden and a skewer inserted to the centre comes out clean.
Allow to cool slightly, then carefully remove the sides of the tin.
You can serve immediately, or at room temperature.