This recipe has been handed down in my family from generation to generation.
I think it is a typical dish of my city: Acireale, a true pearl of Sicily.
An ancient city, embellished with Baroque architecture, and called the city of a hundred bells. It is located on the slopes of Etna which with its majesty dominates it to the west while a sea of a thousand shades cools it on warm summer evenings.
It is in fact located at three hundred meters above sea level which can be admired splendidly from the beautiful balcony of the Belvedere villa, from which the vista sweeps up to Taormina and beyond.
Until the last century it could boast for its culture that it was imparted together with a rigid education in the various colleges run by nuns, Jesuits and Christian brothers.
But let’s get to the recipe, in my family the rice timbale was usually prepared at Christmas and needed a preparation that lasted about two days.
In my memories of when I was a child, the scents and frenzy of that period of expectation and joy remain unchanged.
Rice timbale recipe
- chicken broth
- pecorino cheese
- baked ham
The recipe begins with the preparation of the boiled chicken (naturally free-range) and the broth which we will then use to cook the rice. Once cooked, the boiled chicken is cut into small pieces which we will then put in the timbale.
Separately prepare the bechamel which is used to mix everything, the peas, the fresh pecorino cheese cut into strips and the chopped cooked ham.
Cook the rice in the broth and when cooked, season it with butter to taste and grated Parmesan.
At this point, the rice is carefully spread in a previously buttered pan. Then it is covered with all the ingredients listed, mixed to spread the flavour, and then covered with the remaining rice. Flatten the dish with a spatula and bake.
But it is not finished yet, because separately the eggs are beaten with the parmesan and when the rice is a warm the pan is taken out of the oven and the timbale is covered with the Parmesan and the eggs and put back in the oven until when it is golden.
Now, it is ready to be served. Enjoy the taste !!?