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Bomba di Riso (Rice Pie)

The Bomba di Riso (Rice Pie) is a traditional dish from the cuisine of Emilia Romagna and Lunigiana (a region in the northern part of Tuscany. Its version is typical of the Reggio Emilia area, particularly the mountains. It is a recipe that is perfectly suited to the cold months.


for 6 people

For the ragù:
400 g of minced meat (of which 200g beef, 150g pork and 50g sausage)
80 g of dried porcini mushrooms
1 onion, chopped
Tomato passata
Dry White wine
Olive Oil

For the “pie”:
500 g of carnaroli rice
200 g medium thick sliced cooked ham
100 g of sliced mild cheese (such as edam or fontina)
200 g of cooking cream
1 mozzarella
Grated Reggiano parmesan cheese
50 g of butter

How to do

For the ragù (this can be prepared the previous evening to save time): In a deep based pan, gently fry the chopped onions in olive oil; when transparent add the minced meat and cook until slightly coloured. Add half a glass of dry white wine and allow alcohol to evaporate, season with salt and pepper. Add the tomato passata and continue to cook the ragù adding broth or hot water. (After being brought to the boil, the ragù must be simmered on a very low flame for at least 2 or 3 hours, or even more according to local tradition). When the ragù is ready, add the mushrooms (which have been steeped in tepid water for at least half an hour) and cook for a further 30 minutes, adding the sieved water from the mushrooms as needed.

For the "pie": Take a deep, ovenproof ring mould and butter the inside. Line it first (both sides and bottom) with the slices of cooked ham (allowing the slices to generously overlap the edges) and then with the slices of cheese.
Cook the rice in plenty of salted water and drain it when it is half-cooked (about 8 or 9 minutes). Add the butter, the cream, the mozzarella and the grated Reggiano parmesan cheese and mix well. Pour the rice mixture into the ring mould and cover the top with the overhanging ham slices. Cover with aluminium foil and place in a roasting pan half filled with water (a bain-marie) and cook in a preheated oven at 180°C.
After about 25 minutes take out the mould and remove the aluminium foil. Cover with an upturned serving plate and turn out the bomba directly onto the dish. The bomba should present the appearance of a deep ring completely covered with ham. Fill the hole in the centre of the ring with the mushroom ragù (there will be enough left over for anyone who wants extras.) Take to the table and serve in slices (as you would a ring-cake) garnished with the mushroom ragù and a sprinkling of grated Reggiano parmesan cheese.