This recipe is an adaptation to another one I saw on telly ages ago. I diligently noted down every step of the process, all the amounts of ingredients and I forgot the main part… The source of the recipe! My apologies in advance to the author (if you’re ever going to spot this recipe on the web), but I give you full credit for the idea.
Originally, the bake should’ve contained thinly sliced fresh salmon. But why not trying it even if you don’t have this fish at home? The base stays the same, just change the filling. You can also make a vegetarian version with just vegetables instead of fish, being careful to let the majority of the moisture of them evaporate (by cooking, of course) before filling the baking tin.
Just one consideration. I chose the name “bake”, because it’s the closest to what this dish actually is. Or better, to how this dish is prepared. The name in Italian should be sformato. Looking online for an effective translation, it seems that another accepted name is mould (because the ingredients baked have the shape of the mould they are put into), but I didn’t like it that much. Could’ve been the right choice? Who knows? 😉
INGREDIENTS (serves 2 as a main, 4 as a starter)
- 140g Arborio rice
- 500ml semi-skimmed milk
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 small onion, finely diced
- 1 clove of garlic, peeled and cut in half
- 1/2 courgette (or a small one), thinly sliced or diced
- 120g fresh prawns, peeled and deveined
- 80g seafood sticks, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
- splash of white wine
- 3 tablespoons Fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 egg, yolk and white separated
- 40g butter, melted
- 30g grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
In a large saucepan, bring the milk to the boil with the salt, add the rice and simmer until all the liquid is absorbed (it takes about 20 minutes). Spread the rice on a tray and let it cool down.
In another saucepan, pour the oil and tip the onions and the garlic. Fry over moderate heat for a couple of minutes, then add the courgettes. After 3-4 minutes, add the prawns, and sauté for further 5 minutes, then splash with the wine, season with salt and pepper and cook at low heat until the courgettes are soft and the prawns are bright pink. At last, add the chopped seafood sticks (they don’t need to be cooked but just require to soak in some of the sauce), and one tablespoon of fresh parsley.
Preheat the oven to 200°C fan.
Spoon the cold rice in a bowl, fluff it with a fork, then add the egg yolk, the Parmesan and the melted butter. Stir well. In another small bowl, whisk the egg white until fluffy and firm, then incorporate it delicately to the rice. Sprinkle with the chilli flakes and the remaining parsley and mix well.
Take a small plum cake tin or a small ceramic baking tray, grease it well with a knob of butter and coat all the surface with breadcrumbs.
Spoon half of rice at the bottom of the tray, pressing it down to create a compact layer. Top it with the seafood/courgette mixture, then cover with the remaining rice, pressing down again. Bake for 20 minutes, let cool down and turn it out on a serving plate. When it’s just warm, cut it in slices and serve it accompanied by a fresh salad.