ll Cibo é L'essenza Della Vita....

"The rooms that you use on a daily basis are the rooms people will always want to sit in, because they have soul." --Bunny Williams


"If you want to live forever and ever, drink wine and eat maccheroni." ~~~Sicilian Proverb

Monday, October 4, 2010

Sage, Onion and Wild Rice Risotto Cakes~ Meatless Monday!!

Happy Monday!

I'm sorry for the lack of pictures today, but energy is sorely lacking these days. I'm actually looking forward to getting this surgery and recovery done so I can be me again!  :)

Tonight's dinner will be a simple one- Roasted Pepper and Tomato Soup and these Wild Rice and Risotto Cakes adapted from a decade old recipe from Gourmet. 

Be sure to brown the cakes before flipping very carefully- these are soft and creamy inside and will fall apart if not browned

Sage, Onion, and Wild Rice Risotto Cakes
adapted from Gourmet 2000

4 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup wild rice
about 6 cups light vegetable broth
1 tblsp unsalted butter
2 tblsp olive oil
generous 1/4 cup thinly sliced sage
3 onions finely chopped- about 3 cups
3 large celery stalks finely chopped- about 1 cup
2 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup Marsala wine
1 tblsp chopped fresh thyme
freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan (I used Asiago)
1/2 cup chopped parsley

3 large eggs, separated

Bring water and salt to a boil. Stir in wild rice and simmer, covered for 45 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to sit, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Drain rice into a sieve over a saucepan, reserving liquid. Add vegetable broth to reserved liquid in pot and heat to a low simmer- keep hot.
Heat butter and oil in a large skillet over medium high heat till hot, not smoking. Add sage and stir for 1 minute. Add onions and celery and saute till pale golden and soft. Add Arborio rice and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.Add wine, thyme, and pepper and cook till wine is absorbed, stirring. Lower heat to medium and stir in a couple of ladlefuls of hot broth. Allow to absorb before adding more broth, stirring frequently till rice is al dente and creamy. With the last ladleful of broth, stir in wild rice. When done, remove from heat and stir in cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper. Cool and chill in refrigerator for at least 4 hours up to overnight. I pressed a sheet of waxed paper on the surface of the risotto. When ready to make cakes, remove risotto from fridge and allow to come to room temperature.
Gently mix egg yolks into rice. In a large bowl, beat whites with a pinch of salt till stiff- gently fold into risotto. Allow to sit for 15 minutes
Brush a large skillet or griddle with 1 tblsp of olive oil and heat till hot. Using a 1/4 cup ice cream scoop, scoop mounds of risotto onto hot griddle. Flatten slightly with the back of a spoon. Allow to get brown and crispy on the bottom before flipping carefully with a thin spatula. Transfer to a large platter or small grid rack in one layer as they are finished. 
Just before serving~ Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Bake risotto cakes about 6 minutes till sizzling.

Tonight's dessert is a family favorite- 
a Tuscan Pignolata (Pine Nut Cake)

I actually posted about this cake some months ago- you can see the original post here

This is a cake that my Dad just LOVES with his evening espresso.

Pignolata alla Patrizia

1 1/2 cups pine nuts plus more for top of cake, lightly toasted                            
3/4 cup sugar processed in food processor with 1 cup almond paste till completely incorporated
3 sticks butter, at room temperature  
zest and juice of 1 lemon plus zest of 1 orange
3 1/2 cups flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
4 whole eggs
 heaping 1/2 cup sour cream or creme fraiche
4 large egg whites
6 tablespoons sugar  

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Cream the sugar, butter and citrus zests together (I use a stand mixer with the paddle).  Scrape down occasionally.
Add 2 cups of the flour and baking powder.  Mix until incorporated and then add 2 eggs, one at a time, mixing till completely incorporated before adding the second egg.  Add the remaining flour, mix well, then add the last 2 eggs, again one at a time
Add the creme fraiche and lemon juice and beat till smooth. As you continue mixing, add the lemon juice and incorporate. Scrape down the sides and bottom and mix well with a spatula.  In a separate bowl, with very clean beaters, beat egg whites on high till frothy. Very slowly add sugar and continue to beat till it forms stiff glossy peaks. Fold a third of the egg whites into the batter using a rubber spatula to combine well.  Add the rest of the meringue and fold in well until the mixture is combined.  I use my stand mixer on the very lowest speed. Fold in the  pignoli  Use a 12” tart pan with a remove-able bottom or a 12 “ springform pan. Spray well with PAM and spread batter in pan. Sprinkle some more pignoli on top and bake for 45-50 minutes till it tests done.
Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for about 30-40  minutes Carefully remove to a  cake rack to cool completely.  For the record, the spring-form pan works better- it’s a bit messy getting the cake out of the tart pan. When completely cool dust with confectioner’s sugar and serve plain or topped with warmed jam or preserves. This cake freezes well too.

As Always,

Buon Cibo, Buon Amici,

Pattie and Allie


  1. Thanks for the recipes. I guess you just can't take an amazing cook out of the kitchen!! Do take it easy until you get that "boost"!!


  2. Pattie, even your "simple" dinners are marvelous! Good luck on the 12th! :D

  3. I love how everyone just KNOWS you will be 100% soon..even my husband has friends w/ pacemakers and they are brand new:)

    You will be..How you can take the time to treat us to new recipes is beyond me..

    But thank you..
    I now have everything for those little acorn squashes w/ bacon and chard and soon I hope~

  4. Patti I can almost smell the pignolata cake though my computer monitor! I am trying to watch sweets but I just have to make this cake one day as I love almond paste flavor. Next time I have company it will be on my table.

    Don't overdo and get your rest as much as possible so you will be in good shape for the surgery & recover quickly!

    {{{ hugs}}}

  5. Thinking of you and your soon-to-be new self, Pattie! I love the sound of both of these recipes but I am definitely a dessert girl and the your pine nut cake with almond paste sound delightful! Take care! (Pretty please).

  6. Bonjour Pattie and Allie,
    I didn't know about the upcoming surgery. Will pray all goes well and you are back to your old self in no time.
    More great recipes that I will definitely be trying. Will check back soon to see how you are!
    Take care,

  7. Those rice patties look fabulous and that cake amazing! Hoping and praying all goes well with your surgery and that you are feeling back to your old self in no time at all! xxoo

  8. Beautiful post Pattie. One would never know you are low on energy.Take care of your self and Many Happy Returns!!!!!Toast to your Health for your Birthday! ~Emelia~

  9. Those rice cakes sound fantastic! You continue to be in my prayers for a successful surgery and speedy recovery.

  10. Hi Pattie!

    both recipes look very good. I have never heard of pine nut cake before.

    Do you know when your surgery will be scheduled? How is Allie doing?

    Hugs and prayers are being sent your way. You are in my thoughts.

  11. I love these risotto cakes Pattie. When and if I have any leftover risotto I like to make my version of arancini by wrapping bocconcini with leftover risotto and frying it up in a patty as you have done here.

  12. I love to make risotto. I have never tried making it into cakes. This looks wonderful. The cake looks wonderful too. I can't believe you are cooking when you don't feel well. Hope your energy returns. LOL

  13. Delicious food as always, Patty... Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers..


  14. You are incapable of making a bad meal. Your rice patties sound delicious. I hope all is well. Blessings...Mary

  15. I love anything with sage at this time of year. These sound delicious!

  16. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog. How wonderful to see a post on Italy. My daughter-n-law is Italian and she and my son and their babies live in Nashville where he went to college and then they met at church. Her parents live in Ferrara. That recipe looks wonderful and I will have to try it and maybe make it when they visit and not tell her and let it be a surprise!
    wool rugsKitchener Real Estate


We LOVE comments and it's a great way to lead us to your home! Thanks for visiting!