(A Very Impressive Dish)
2 CUPS ARBORIO RICE
SALT – as needed
FRESHLY GROUND BLACK PEPPER
1 ½ CUPS GRATED CHEESE – your favorite
½ LB PENNE RIGATE
2 ½ CUPS THICK TOMATO SAUCE – your favorite
½ CUP FROZEN PEAS
½ CUP BREAD CRUMBS – flavored or plain
4 EGGS divided and lightly beaten
Cook the rice in a large pot of salted boiling water until al-dente. Drain and rinse quickly with cold water to stop the cooking and then transfer to strainer to drain and cool. When cool, pour into a bowl, stir in 3 eggs and 1 cup of grated cheese, cover and place in refrigerator for 8 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 400º. Cook pasta until al dente in a large pot of salted boiling water. Drain well and scoop into a large bowl and toss well with 1 cup of sauce (the sauce can be a meat sauce like a Bolognese, or it can be meatless, but it must not be thin or the timbale will not hold the mold. This is very important.)
Add the peas with a ½ cup of grated cheese and mix gently (do not mash) with a wooden spoon and allow to cool.
Putting it Together:
Oil well a 2-quart ovenproof bowl and coat well with the breadcrumbs (I prefer to use seasoned crumbs). Wet your hands to prevent the rice from sticking to them and line the bowl evenly and completely with the rice until it is about ½-inch thick. Reserve some rice for topping. Carefully pack the pasta into the bowl, spread the remaining rice over the top and press it gently but firmly in place. Brush the remaining lightly beaten egg all over the top of the rice.
Bake until golden – about 1 hour. Allow to cool for 10 minutes and then try to loosen the sides a little with a thin knife. Turn out onto a large platter. Give the bottom a few taps while doing this. Slice into pie shaped wedges and pass additional sauce and grated cheese.
Note: A Bolognese Ragu would be an excellent sauce to use with this recipe.