Roman-Style Timbal: Timballo di Riso alla Romana
- 2 tablespoons plus 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 (16-ounce) can peeled plum tomatoes, crushed by hand, with their juices
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup water
- 1 ounce dried porcini, reconstituted in hot water and drained
- 1/8 pound chicken livers
- 4 ounces fresh Italian sausage, sliced into 1/4-inch moons
- 1/8 pound pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 2 cups arborio rice
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 1/2 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped to yield 1/8 cup
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup bread crumbs
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
In a 12-inch saucepan over medium-high heat, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil until hot but not smoking. Add the tomatoes and their juices and stir to combine. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Add 1 cup of water, bring to a boil, and lower the heat so that the sauce simmer gently. Let the sauce simmer for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, roughly chop the reconstituted porcini mushrooms. Once the tomato sauce has simmered 30 minutes, add the porcinis to the sauce and continue simmering for another 15 minutes.
Saute liver, sausage, and pancetta until browned. Add the tomato sauce with the porcinis and season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Let the sauce simmer 15 minutes more.
In a 12-inch saute pan over medium high heat, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil until hot but not smoking. Add the rice and toast slightly, until golden brown, about 2 minutes, making sure to turn the rice to toast all sides. Add the chicken stock and cook until the rice is tender but still al dente.
Remove the rice from the heat and use a wooden spoon to stir in the grated Parmigiano and parsley. Add the eggs and stir until they are well-mixed throughout the rice. Using a spatula, spread the rice out on a baking sheet or serving platter to cool to room temperature.
Lightly oil the sides and base of a 4-quart metal mixing bowl or similarly sized round pan with high sides (e.g., a springform pan with 3-inch sides). Dust the bowl, base and sides, with half of the bread crumbs, shaking out any excess. Spoon 1/4 the rice into the bowl to form an even layer, about 3/4-inch thick. Carefully ladle the meat ragu over the rice. Use the remaining rice to form a second layer over the meat ragu. Save any extra rice (you don't want the layer to be more than 3/4-inch thick) for a future use. Top the rice with remaining bread crumbs.
Place the timballo in the oven and bake until the bread crumbs form a deep, golden brown crust on the top, about 1 hour. If the bread crumbs begin to darken too quickly, cover the top of the bowl with tin foil and return to the oven for the remainder of the cooking time.
Remove from the oven and invert the timballo onto a large serving platter without removing the bowl. Let the timbal rest 10 minutes, then knock with your knuckles top release the bowl, or unclasp the springform pan. Cut into wedges and serve immediately.