The perfect description for Torta di Riso, is a crustless rice quiche. The Italian name, Torta di Riso, translates to a very mundane-sounding (but certainly not mundane-tasting) “rice pie”. Many of the best-known Torta di Riso recipes are rich desserts featuring ricotta, but this Northern Italian staple is a savory recipe that is creamy, custardy, cheesy and yummy!! So simple, so quick, so tasty and great for lunch or a light dinner. And even better, you can make it with leftovers!
Use any vegetables you like. Sautéed spinach, asparagus, or zucchini are good choices. Add some ham, prosciutto, cooked bacon or sausage. Mushrooms and leeks are a great combination. And don’t forget the aromatics – things like onions, peppers, herbs. And finally, the cheese. Traditionally made with Parmigiano, but any cheese or more than one kind is fine. I used both Parmigiano and Fontina the last time I made a torta and included peas and prosciutto. Anything goes. If you want more custard, add another egg and ½ cup of half and half. You can use more vegetables if you like or less rice. Adjust your baking dish to accommodate extra ingredients. This is the perfect way to clean out those dibs and dabs in the refrigerator while creating a delicious, comforting dish. Leftovers hold well and re-heat beautifully.
Torta di Riso
- 2 cups cooked rice (1½ cups water, ¾ cup raw rice, ¼ teaspoon salt)
- 3 eggs
- 1½ cups half and half
- 1 cup grated Parmigiano cheese (use any cheese you like to complement your vegetables)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¾ cup diced yellow onion or leeks
- 1 large clove garlic finely chopped
- 2 – 4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh herbs of your choice (parsley, basil, oregano, thyme)
- 1 to 1½ cups of cooked vegetables and/or meats (see notes for suggestions)
- Pre-heat the oven to 350° convection.
- This can be baked in a 9” oven proof skillet, a glass 9” pie dish, or a square casserole dish. If using a pie dish, be sure it is deep enough. If you use a skillet, you can cook your vegetables first and use the same pan to cook the torta in.
- Drizzle a little olive oil in the skillet or butter the pie/casserole dish.
- Cook the rice. Bring 1½ cups of water and ¼ teaspoon salt to a boil. Add the rice. Stir, reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook about 20 minutes or until water has been absorbed. Set aside to cool.
- Sauté vegetables, onion and garlic in olive oil. Sausage or bacon must be cooked before adding.
- Combine rice, vegetables, meat (if using).
- Whisk the eggs, half and half, cheese, salt and pepper together and add to rice and vegetables. Stir in the herbs.
- Pour into prepared baking dish and distribute evenly. Drizzle top lightly with olive oil.
- Bake until set and lightly browned, about 25-30 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before cutting into wedges.
- Zucchini and Oven Roasted Tomatoes
- Italian Sausage and Peppers
- Diced Ham or Prosciutto and Peas
- Sauteed Mushrooms (I use leeks instead of onions in this combination)
- Corn and Diced Jalapeno Peppers (Use canned peppers; corn does not have to be cooked)