For years I’ve kept a handful of bundt pans squirrelled away in the cupboards even though they had long outlived any useful purpose. With a Neapolitan bakery – pasticceria – on every corner, I gave up baking a decade ago. Oh, and aren’t those c. 1950s mould style pans a bit outdated anyway???

My poor, neglected bundt pans lived sequestered lives in the furthest recesses of my cupboards and it never even occurred to me to either give them the dignity of a proper burial or better yet, use them for something savoury. That is, until Giuseppe came along.

We first made use of one of my bundt pans when Giuseppe made Casatiello Napoletano. The savoury sibling of twin Easter dishes –  Pastiera is it’s sweet sister – Casatiello is a rustic bread stuffed with an assortment of salumi and cheeses that also features hard boiled eggs. Our next stuffed concoction, though this time not in a bundt pan, was a flaky pastry stuffed with what else? Pasta! Known as Timballo di Maccheroni alla Napoletana, it’s a creamy mixture of Bucatini, ground meat, tomatoes, peas and Béchamel Sauce. Both coming from French origins, Timballo they say is Sartù’s cousin.

Having stuffed bread with salumi and pastry with pasta, the next logical thing to stuff would be rice. This stratified concoction known as  Sartù di Riso is stuffed with tons of itty, bitty meatballs – le polpettine, mozzarella – aka Fiore di Latte cheese, hard boiled eggs and a plethora of peas. We wrapped it all around the tube of one of my dust collecting bundt pans.

Of course you don’t have to make Sartù di Riso Napoletano in a bundt pan, but your bundt pans will thank you if you do!


For the Meatballs

Ground/minced meat – either pork or beef or a mixture (c. 500 grams)
1/3 loaf day old crusty bread like a baguette
Bread crumbs
2 eggs
2 tbs grated parmigiano cheese
1 clove garlic chopped
Frying oil

For the Sauce

1  bottle of passata (c. 700 grams)
1 small can tomato paste (c. 140 grams)
1 medium onion, chopped (reserve 1 tbs for the peas)
Olive oil
Salt to taste

Everything Else

Rice for risotto – arborio or carnaroli (c. 700 grams)
Peas – fresh or one jar (c. 300 grams)
Red wine
3 or 4 hard boiled eggs
Mozzarella or Fiore di Latte (c. 300 grams)
Grated parmigiano

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It’s a long preparation – plan on about 3 hours or so, but you can make the sauce, meatballs, even the eggs ahead of time.

Make the Meatballs

Break mince meat up into a large bowl with your hands
In another bowl, break up about 1/3 loaf of day old crusty bread and soak it in water
Finely chop one clove garlic
Squeeze the excess water from the bread and add it to the meat mixture
Add the garlic, two eggs, about 2 tbs of grated parmigiano and salt to taste
If the mixture is too wet, add breadcrumbs as needed to achieve the right consistency
Cover the bottom of a large plate with breadcrumbs
Roll very small meatballs in your hands, just a little larger than a marble and roll them in the breadcrumbs
Fry the meatballs in batches until golden brown and remove to paper towels to drain

Make the Sauce

If you have a left over Sunday Ragù in the refrigerator, that’s the best sauce for the job. If not, you can whip up this quick and easy sauce.

Chop the onion (reserve 1 tbs for the peas)
Sauté the onion in olive oil in a large sauce pan
Add the passata, about 1/3 bottle of water, the tomato paste and mix through
Add parsley and salt to taste
Cook for about 30 minutes over medium heat

Precook the Rice

Bring about 1 litre of water to boil in a large pot
Add 2 large pinches of rock salt
Add about 700 grams of rice
Cook rice for 10 minutes
Drain rice and rinse well with cold water to stop the cooking

The Peas and Eggs

Put 3 or 4 eggs in medium saucepan and cover with cold water
Bring to a boil and cook as you normally would for hard boiled eggs
Drain and rinse the peas
Sauté 1 tbs onion in olive oil in a small sauce pan
Add peas
Add 2 tbs of red wine
Cook on medium-high 5 to 7 minutes

Construct the Sartù

Preheat the oven to 170° c
Slice the eggs
Chop the Fiore di Latte into bite sized pieces
Grease a large bundt pan and dust with breadcrumbs
Put a few ladles of the sauce into the bottom of a large bowl
Add the rice a bit at a time, mixing through until the rice is well coated, but not swimming in the sauce
Add more sauce if needed
Mix in grated parmigiano and parsley to taste
Add the meatballs to the remaining sauce and mix through
Pat down a layer of rice into the bottom of the pan with your hands
Cover the rice with a generous portion of the meatballs (about 1/2)
Layer on the peas, cheese and eggs (about 1/2 each)
Sprinkle with parmigiano
Top with few spoonfuls of sauce
Create a second layer beginning with the rice and ending with the sauce
Top with a generous layer of rice and a final coating of sauce
Cover the top in breadcrumbs
Bake at 170° c for about 30 minutes
Let sit until it is cool enough to turn out onto a serving platter

Buon Appetito!

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