Arancini Casserole

Interesting things have happened since my last post here.  What I haven’t done, is make a lot of new or blog-worthy meals. That’s my excuse, and I’m sticking to it.  Now that things have quieted down considerably, I’ve been able to get back to the kitchen and make some things I’m pretty excited about. I also have planned another 12 Days of Oscar series and will be frantically cooking my way through 12 movie-inspired recipes again soon.

Before I get to the few interesting things I did make and photograph during my hiatus, I have to share last night’s dinner.  It was so good, it really does trump anything else I had planned. If you’re not familiar with arancini, they are balls of rice (often stuffed with meats and mozzarella) that are then coated in breadcrumbs and fried.  Sounds healthy, right? Not so much. I was intrigued by a casserole version, that was lightened up, as an added bonus.  It worked out very well and I would definitely make it again.

Arancini Casserole

Ingredients:

  • 2 C. uncooked long grain white rice
  • 4 C. water
  • 1 (2.5 oz.) sweet Italian sausage link, casing removed (I’m sure hot would also work)
  • 10 oz. lean ground turkey
  • 1/4 C. onion, minced
  • 5 oz. frozen peas
  • 16 oz. homemade tomato sauce (you could use jarred), divided
  • 1/3 C. egg whites
  • 1/2 C. grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 4 Tbs. seasoned breadcrumbs, divided
  • 1 1/4 C. shredded part skim mozzarella, divided

Directions:

Cook rice in water according to package directions.  Set aside to cool.

Saute sausage meat until brown, breaking up into pieces with a wooden spoon.

Add onion and turkey, also breaking it up with a wooden spoon, and cook until brown.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add peas and 8 oz. of the tomato sauce.  Cover and simmer on low for 20 minutes.

Combine rice, 4 oz. of the tomato sauce, Pecorino Romano, and egg whites in a large bowl. Mix well, rice should be slightly sticky.

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Spray a glass 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.

Put 2 Tbs. of the breadcrumbs into the dish, and shake or roll to coat the bottom and sides of the dish with breadcrumbs.

Press half of the rice mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the prepared baking dish.  Press to even it out.

Spread the meat mixture onto the rice layer evenly.

Sprinkle 3/4 C. of the mozzarella on top of the meat mixture.

Top with the remaining half of the rice mixture, pressing to even it out.

Put the remaining 4 oz. of sauce, 2 Tbs. breadcrumbs, and remaining 3/4 C. of mozzarella on top of the rice.

Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

Makes 8 servings.

Source: Skinnytaste

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