Friday, May 20, 2011

Anna Sultana's Ross il-Forn - Baked Rice, Maltese Style


Okay... now we're talking Maltese comfort food.

It's funny how Americans think folks in the Mediterranean just eat pasta.
That just isn't so.

Don't get me wrong...  I've never met a noodle I didn't like.

But Ma filled us up on lots more than just pasta.
We had pots of potatoes and rice, too.

And not just boiled up and served with a dab of butter.
I mean, you've seen what can be done with a bit of wheat dough.

Ross Fil-Forn is Maltese cooking at its best.
Its total is so much greater than the sum of its ingredients.

Ross Fil-Forn.
It should be called a miracle.

                        
                        Ross il-Forn

grease well an oven casserole (with a cover)        
preheat oven to 350ยบ        
bake 30 + 60 minutes (plus 30 minutes for the sauce to simmer)


In a large heavy skillet heat
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
Fry over medium heat
1 onion, finely chopped                             
2 slices bacon, chopped                       
           
After the onion has cooked, add
1 teaspoon tomato paste
300 grams ground beef or pork or a mixture 
Stir until the meat has browned.

Add
350 grams canned tomatoes 
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 Cup water                         
Simmer for half an hour.

Mix into the sauce
1 1/2 Cups uncooked rice

Add and stir well
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 Cup grated Parmesan cheese 
Place the mixture in the casserole.

Add and stir well
3 Cups of water
Cover and bake 30 minutes.  
Take it out of the oven, and stir thoroughly.
Sprinkle on top
1/2 Cup grated Parmesan cheese 
Continue baking for another hour, until it's a rich brown.

Serve with a salad or cooked vegetable.


Miracle, right?
What can I say?
It's our version of Kraft's macaroni and cheese.
And way better.

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