Sartu …Festa Italiana

When Maryann and Marie announced their event I was so excited. I really respect and love these bloggers, and look forward to seeing their great Italian cuisine each week.I felt intimidated by the event as they really know they stuff . However I reached for one of my favorite cookbooks The Silver Spoon, and decided on a dish that was new to me , and sounded great,Sartu. This recipe attracted me for many reasons. 1)Certain Someone would love it.2) The use of chicken livers and other sorts of meat and sausage.3) It reminded me of a alternative version of a dish Marie presented on her blog called a Timpano from the movie Big Night.

Certain Someone is heading out for Germany this weekend and I wanted a special hearty dinner before he goes home to his Mama CS( I love her dearly,she’s a amazing cook). But I don’t want him telling her I haven’t been cooking good things for him lately due to our schedules. Plus with him gone , who’s going to eat all the leftovers? So timing was important. This dish is pretty simple , just requires some time and prep. If I do it again I will make the risotto before , etc,and just assemble. I also took the liberty of adding green peas.If your not a fan of chicken livers( like Certain Someone) just add more meat. This dish can be so versatile.He said next time skip the livers. I don’t eat a lot of chicken liver , but make a mean chopped liver with black truffle oil that my family and friends love.But I digress. Final verdict was he had two servings and said it was OK. By the fact he ate two helpings was a good enough sign to me. We served it accompanied with tomato sauce.

Timbale Sartu from The Silver Spoon,Phaidon

Serves 6

7 tablespoons butter, plus extra for greasing

1 1/2 cups bread crumbs

1/3 cup dried mushrooms

1 thick bread slice, crusts removed

¾ cup milk Scant 1 cup ground beef All-purpose flour, for coating

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 1/2 ounces chicken livers, thawed if frozen, trimmed and chopped

2 ounces Italian sausage, peeled and crumbled

2 1/2 ounces mozzarella cheese, diced

3 cups Meat Stock

1/2 onion, chopped

1/4 cup bottled strained tomatoes

Scant 2 cups risotto rice

2 eggs, lightly beaten

Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 3500F. Grease an ovenproof dish with butter and sprinkle with the bread crumbs, turning to coat. Tip out any excess.

Put the mushrooms in a bowl, add hot water to cover and let soak for 20 minutes, then drain, squeeze and chop coarsely. Tear the bread into pieces, place in a bowl, add the milk and a pinch of salt and let soak for 10 minutes, then squeeze out.

Combine the ground beef and soaked bread, then roll the mixture into hazelnut-size balls and coat with flour.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter with the oil in a skillet, add the meatballs and cook until golden brown all over. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain on paper towels and set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the remaining butter in another pan, add the mushrooms and a pinch of salt, cover and cook over low heat for 20 minutes.

Melt 2 tablespoons of the remaining butter in another skillet. Add the chicken livers and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from the heat and season with salt.

Heat the sausage and mozzarella in a small pan until the cheese has melted.

Bring the stock to a boil.

Meanwhile, melt the remaining butter in another pan, add the onion and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, then add the strained tomatoes and stir in the rice. Add a Ladleful of the hot stock and cook, stirring, until it has been absorbed. Continue adding the stock, a ladleful at a time, and stirring until each addition has been absorbed. This will take 18—20 minutes.

Cover the base and sides of the prepared dish with a layer of risotto. Combine all the filling ingredients and spoon them into the dish, pour the eggs over the filling and cover with the remaining risotto. Bake for about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven, let stand for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a serving dish and serve.