Sartu di Riso
4 ounces of fresh cremini mushrooms
1/2 pound of mild Italian sausage, diced
1/2 pound of lean ground beef
1/2 pound of lean ground pork
1 dry pound of arborio or carnaroli rice
8 ounces of bocconcini di mozzarella di bufala
1 pound of frozen sweet small peas
1 medium yellow onion diced
4 cloves garlic diced
1 quart clear beef broth
1/2 small can of Italian tomato paste
1 bunch of Italian flat leaved parsley, chiffonaded
1 gram of fine Spanish Saffron strands
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Fresh Bread Crumbs
Slice up 4 ounces of fresh cremini mushrooms and dice up half a pound of mild Italian sausage, then take half a pound of lean ground beef and half a pound of lean ground pork, and gently sautee in a pan with just a touch of extra virgin olive oil, four cloves of garlic and a medium yellow onion all diced finely. Make sure that the ground meat doesn't clog up too much and stays in fairly small lumps. As the mushrooms wilt, the meat browns, and the onion and garlic become transparent set aside in a bowl. Salt and pepper. A lot.
In a pot toss in one quart (32 ounces) of clear beef broth and half of a small can of Italian tomato paste. Stir to dissolve the paste. Bring to a medium simmer. Toss in 1 gram of fine Spanish Saffron strands, never the powdered junk. Bring to a quick boil and as soon as the broth turns golden reddish color you can strain the strands out.
In the pan where you sauteed the mushrooms and sausage, pour in one pound of arborio or carnaroli rice and a couple of teaspoons of E V O O. Sautee to gently brown the rice. Add a ladle of broth at a time until the rice takes it in before adding another ladle. Continue until the rice is al dente consistency. It may take a little more or a little less of the broth. If you run out of broth at the end you can substitute hot water.
As soon as the rice has taken in enough liquid to be al dente, toss in one pound of frozen sweet small peas. Go with the frozen as the fresh tend to have the wrong consistency. Gently toss to barely cook the peas. Remove from heat.
Take an entire bunch of Italian flat leaf parsley (not that frilly American stuff), remove all the leaves, chiffonade them all (cut them up into small strips) and toss that in as well.
Now take a big round roasting pan, coat it with about an eighth of an inch of fresh bread crumbs and spread half of that rice into the bottom of the pan on top of the bread crumbs until it's even. At this point, take the meat and mushroom mixture you've set aside and form a big mound in the middle of the rice mixture. Cover the mound with 8 ounces of mozzarella cheese (I'm begging you once again to go with the real bocconcini di mozzarella di bufala and not those plastic encased white bricks at your local supermarket), and 4 ounces of smoked provolone, that you have shredded together. If you've covered the central two thirds of the rice mixture in the base of the pan you're doing it right.
Now take the rest of the rice mixture and place it on top to make what looks like a big "meat loaf" looking rice cake. Now cover the top with another eighth of an inch of fresh bread crumbs and then drizzle a couple of ounces of extra virgin olive oil all over the top until it's just lightly moistened.
Plunk into a hot oven, around 400 F / 200 C for about 40 minutes. The Sartu' is done when the top is a medium golden brown.