The only cooking magazine I really read cover to cover is La Cucina Italiana. So, when the November 2011 issue hit my mailbox last week, I perused the recipes and was instantly intrigued by the recipe for sartù, a rice timbale from Naples. Timbale means 'drum' in Italian. I've made drum-shaped dishes before, but never with leftover risotto. This was a must-try. But just because I read all the recipes doesn't mean that I follow the recipes; as always, I use the magazine more for inspiration. My timbale is more a cross between the Neopolitan sartù and a Roman aranci di riso.
I started with my leftover asparagus-fennel-leek risotto. Yes, this is the recipe for which I made the risotto.
I buttered a stoneware muffin dish and pressed a tablespoon of cold risotto into each hollow while I preheated oven to 350 degrees. Then I placed a cube of fresh mozzarella cheese into the middle and topped it with another tablespoon of risotto. Compact the cake gently. Bake for 60 minutes or until the timbali are golden and firm. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen and then unmold onto a plate. Top with a dollop of marscarpone cream and a dusting of freshly ground pepper. Serve with a green salad.