Sartu – Risotto Pie

Sartu is a risotto and meat pie most often made with ground beef, tomato sauce and cheese. I have made one with some chicken and sausage which can also be called a Timbale which means drum because of it’s shape. You can make this kind of meal with leftover risotto or start from scratch. It is hearty and packed with lots of flavour, can be made ahead and serves a crowd. I have added some eggs to help hold the looser chicken filling together when sliced. I will make another one with the traditional beef and cheese filling at a later date.

You will need:

  • 1 small onion – diced fine
  • 4 tbsp quality extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups risotto rice -short grained rice like carnaroli
  • 3 cloves garlic – minced fine
  • 1/2 white wine
  • 1 litre chicken broth
  • 1/2 freshly grated Parmesano Reggiano
  • 1 cup chopped sausage of your choice can be cured or fresh
  • 1 chicken breast – chopped into cubes
  • 2 tbsp quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic – minced fine
  • 10 button mushrooms – sliced and then rough chopped
  • 1 cup chopped broccoflower – sliced then rough chopped
  • 1 tbsp butter to coat baking pan 7inch x 2 inches deep
  • 3 tbsp breadcrumbs to coat baking pan
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped spring/green onion
  • 1 tbsp honey mustard
  • 2 eggs with 1 tbsp milk whisked
  • 3 tbsp freshly grated Parmesano to top.
  • 2 tbsp butter cut into tiny pieces to top.

Start with some great rice and good olive oil. You are making a risotto and basically you start with short grain rice and slowly add ladles of hot broth and stir for 20 minutes until almost all the liquid is absorbed and you are left with a creamy delicious risotto.

Step 1: in a large pot add olive oil, diced onion, salt and pepper. Cook on medium heat stirring frequently for about 10 minutes. I like the onions to just start to brown around the edges and get a bit of colour.

Step 2: add chopped garlic and rice. Cook 2 minutes stirring to coat grains of rice and avoid burning.

Step 3: add white wine and scrape the pot to loosen any onion or fond (browned cooked bits!) Cook for 2 minutes or until the wine almost completely evaporates.

Step 4: at this stage you can start adding a ladle of hot chicken broth at a time to your rice, stirring to avoid sticking. You can heat the broth in a small pot on the stove or place in a large liquid measuring cup and heat in the microwave. It should be hot so that you do not stop the boiling each time you add broth to the pot.

Step 5: continue adding and stirring until all your broth is used and you have been cooking on a medium heat for 20 minutes and the rice will be cooked. When it has absorbed almost all the liquid remove from heat.

Step 6: add your grated Parmesan and stir to incorporate, The rice should be creamy and thick but not too wet. Let cool to room temperature or even cold before lining pan with rice.

Step 7: chop all remaining items and have ready. I used a cured garlic sausage but, you could easily use a fresh mild or spicy Italian sausage if you prefer.

Step 8: in a large pan add chopped chicken, sausage and garlic in great olive oil. Cook 5 minutes.

Step 9: add mushrooms and broccoflower and cook 15 minutes until most of the water has cooked out of vegetables. Remove from heat and let cool.

Step 10: butter your pan generously and then add breadcrumbs coating pan and knocking out any excess. You can use a small, tall cake pan as I have used or any dish that have high sides that can be baked.


Step 11: press 3/4 of your rice into the pan and carefully press up the side of the pan (I used my hands) leaving 1/4 to cover the filling.

Step 12: add your chopped parsley, spring onion and 1 tbsp honey mustard to filling mix. Stir and taste. Adjust extra salt and pepper or more mustard if you feel it needs it.

Step 13: add eggs whisked with a bit of milk.

Step 14: fill your mould with filling. You can press into rice gently. Top with a bit more Parmesan.

Step 15: add remaining rice and smooth over with a spatula or your hands to seal. Add a sprinkling of breadcrumbs and a few dots of butter to finish.

Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 1 hour until top is golden. Let cool at least 20 minutes or until just warm to the touch. Place a plate over top and flip over. It should come out easily if you have buttered and added a good coating of breadcrumbs.

Slice and serve warm with a delicious salad. It is also perfect the next day.

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