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Neapolitan Rice

This is a rice mold with a meatball and vegetable filling, originally from Naples, Italy. This recipe however has been tweaked a bit using Asian flavors as well.
Ingredients
For the mold
  Butter 2 Tablespoon
  Toasted bread crumbs 1 Cup (16 tbs)
For rice
  Ghee/Clarified butter 3 Tablespoon
  Rice/Arborio / basmati 2 Cup (32 tbs)
  Beef stock/Chicken stock / vegetable stock / instant bouillon cubes dissolved in hot water 5 Cup (80 tbs)
  Grated cheese 3⁄4 Cup (12 tbs) (Parmesan, Pecorino, Mozzarella / Cheddar)
  Fresh parsley/Coriander 2 Tablespoon, chopped
  Eggs 2 , lightly beaten / boiled , chopped
For the filling
  Ground meat/Lamb / pork / beef / veal 1 Pound
  Fresh bread crumbs 1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs)
  Fine sea salt 1 1⁄2 Teaspoon
  Cheese 2 Tablespoon
  Olive oil/Vegetable oil 2 Tablespoon
  Butter 3 Tablespoon
  Onion 1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs), diced
  Button mushrooms/Wild mushrooms 8 Ounce, wiped and sliced into thirds
  Peas 1 Cup (16 tbs) (Fresh / Frozen)
  Tomato paste 2 Tablespoon
  Freshly ground black pepper To Taste
  Salt To Taste
  Garam masala 1 Teaspoon
  Paprika 1 Teaspoon
  Bay leaf 1
Directions

GETTING READY
1. Generously butter a 2-quart or 10-cup charlotte or ovenproof bowl and coat it with the bread crumbs, pressing the bread crumbs into the mold if necessary.
2. Cover and chill the mold for several hours, or overnight if desired.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees before baking.

MAKING
4. To prepare the filling, in a large saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and butter over medium-high heat.
5. Add onion and sauté, until softened, about 5 minutes. It should be creamy and lightly golden but not brown
6. Dilute tomato paste in 1 cup stock and pour into the pan.
7. Add mushrooms, peas, and seasoning and spices. Throw in the bay leaf. Allow it to simmer.
8. In the mean time, in a bowl combine the ground meat, A bit of salt, cheese, and egg. Mix gently with your hands to marry the ingredients.
9. Dampen your palms and shape the mixture into walnut side meatballs.
10. Take a frying pan and heat remaining olive oil and when it is hot brown the meatballs, in batches if necessary, until they are golden brown.
11. Remove them with a slotted spoon to a bowl and set aside. (I make the meatballs a day in advance and even have them frozen sometimes)
12. Add the meatballs to the sauce and simmer until heated through and flavors have been absorbed, about 15 minutes. Make sure not to stir too much or the meatballs will break.
13. To prepare the rice, in a large saucepan, melt and heat the ghee or butter.
14. Add the rice, and sauté it until the well coated in the butter. They should turn transparent.
15. If using Arborio rice, gradually add in the broth, 1 cup at a time, and continue to stir and let the rice absorb each addition of liquid before adding more. If using basmati or regular rice, add all the broth together and simmer till tender- firm.
16. Stir in the grated cheese and remove the saucepan from the heat.
17. Let the rice cool a bit then stir in the parsley and eggs.
18. Line the bottom and the sides of the mold with about two-thirds of the rice mixture.
19. Spoon the meatball mixture into the rice-lined mold.
20. Cover the top with the remaining rice, pressing lightly with back of spoon, to ensure the edges are sealed with rice.
21. Cover the mold with foil or waxed paper and bake it for 30 minutes.
22. Remove the aluminum foil and bake for another 15 minutes.
23. Remove the mold from the oven and let stand for about 5 minutes.

SERVING
24. Place the serving platter on top of the mold. Use potholders to hold onto the mold and gently turn the mold over and out onto the serving dish. Do not remove the mold immediately. Let it sit for a few minutes, then shake the mold to make sure that the rice has been released.
25. Lift the mold off and serve the Neapolitan rice with more tomato sauce if you like.

TIPS
I make the whole dish on Saturday and refrigerate overnight. All I have to do is bake it on Sunday just before lunch time.

Recipe Summary

Cuisine: 
Italian
Course: 
Main Dish
Feel: 
Meaty
Method: 
Baked
Ingredient: 
Rice, Meat
Interest: 
Everyday
Story
I was trying to make the original version of Neapolitan rice from an Italian cook book recipe one Sunday afternoon but I landed up making a few of my own additions. Almost turned out like an Italian Pulao!! This recipe has become a family favorite for a Sunday afternoon meal. Your time spent making this delicious rice dish is well worth the delicious outcome.

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Average: 3.6 (5 votes)

1 Comment

Anonymous's picture
oh wow this looks yummy. Im going to try it. Meatballs and rice is a good combination!