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Savory rice tartlets with smoked scamorza and pancetta

I come back home with something new after every cooking class: a smart idea on how to use the leftovers, a warm handshake or different accents that make me happy.

On Sunday I went to San Donà di Piave, near Venice, for a cooking class dedicated to picnic food, and I brought home with me so much good humor and a renewed desire to travel by train, to visit many Italian villages yet undiscovered, to feel at home in different houses from mine.

It might be that I am an old fashioned woman, and the train retains that unspeakable charm made of old books and teary goodbyes, or it might be that train stations and airports are spaces with a natural propensity to create and  let stories develop in an unexpected way.

I really felt at home this time, like during a holiday with family in one of those bed & breakfast you really hope to find while travelling, plunged in an enchanted peach tree orchard about to explode in bloom, in a crystalline and spring light.

For those who missed the class on Sunday, here’s the recipe for the savory rice tartlets, a variation of one of my favorite recipes, the sweet rice tartlets of my childhood. These were born as an idea for a picnic: in a comfortable Parmesan and paprika shell a creamy risotto with smoked bacon and scamorza, all baked in the oven to make them crispy on top.

I bet you already see yourself lying on your favorite patterned blanket in the shade of an oak tree, with the rice tartlet in one hand and a book in the other, don’t you?


Savoury rice tartlets with smoked bacon and cheese

5 from 1 vote
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Servings 20 tartlets


Savoury Parmesan crust

  • 250 g of plain wheat flour
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 125 g of cold butter, diced
  • 2 egg yolks, do not discard the egg whites, we're going to use them to make the filling
  • 2 tablespoons of cold water

For the rice filling

  • 1 liter of whole milk
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 300 g of pudding rice
  • 2 tablespoons of grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 2 eggs
  • 150 g of smoked scamorza cheese, cubed
  • 150 g smoked bacon, diced
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  • First thing first, let’s make the shortcrust pastry. Mix the wheat flour with the grated Parmesan cheese and a pinch a salt. Add the diced butter and rub all the ingredients with your fingertips as to make soft crumbles, just as grated Parmesan cheese.
  • Beat the egg yolks in a bowl with two tablespoons of cold water, then add it to the crumbles and keep rubbing the ingredients with your fingertips until you have a nice and smooth ball of dough. If you have rubbed throughly the butter and the flour it will take only a few minutes and you won’t overheat the pastry, which will eventually be crumbly and light. Flatten the dough ball with your hands, wrap it in clingfilm and let it rest in the fridge.
  • Now pour the milk in a large thick-bottomed pot and bring it to the simmer with a pinch of salt. When it starts simmering, add the pudding rice and let it cook completely (it will depend on the kind of rice you chose: it must be throughly cooked, soft and sticky). Mine took about 20 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in 2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese. Let it cool down completely.
  • When the rice is cold, stir in 2 egg yolks, diced smoked bacon and chopped smoked scamorza cheese. Whip the egg whites (2 + 2 from the pastry shell) and fold them gently into the rice pudding.
  • Preheat oven to 170°C.
  • Roll the pastry with a rolling pin on a floured surface in a 5 mm thick sheet and line 16 muffin moulds. The fastest way to make it and have regular and nice pastry shells is to cut out some pastry discs with a glass as big as the bottom of the muffin mould and press them gently in. Then cut with a knife some pastry strips to line the sides of the muffin mould. Press the pastry lightly with your fingers to seal the bottom with the side stripes.
  • Spoon the rice pudding into the pastry shells and bake for about 40 minutes (25 minutes will be enough in a fan oven) until the rice tartlets will be golden brown on the edges.
  • Serve them warm or cold during a bruch or a picnic.
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This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. I love these tarts!!! I have some scamorza affumicata in the fridge so I can make these!
    I remember us talking about taking the train to places in London, it does have a lot of charm gazing out of the window seeing the landscape pass by.
    oh you made me so hungry now!
    Beautiful pics 🙂

  2. I think part of the charm of traveling by train is being able to eat a picnic lunch while watching the landscape slide by. And wow these are fabulous – my men are nuts about Scamorza Affumicata and we buy it every week at our local market (in Nantes!). They would love these. But we don’t need to wait for a picnic to make and eat them, do we?

  3. Mmm, these look fantastic! 🙂 I’ve never had rice tartlets, but I am always in for small baked cheesy treats!

  4. I like you writing, it lulled me right along with you. Beautiful tarts and of course your photography is outstanding, I am woring on mine, LOL.

  5. Oh Giulia a cooking class for picnic food how absolutely wonderful! i adore picnics both outdoors and in hotel rooms! aahh what a wonderful idea. And i see you were cooking those fragrant bacon bits again ;-)) nice recipe!

  6. 5 stars
    Giulia, this full time blogger is so wonderful for you! I adore picnic time! This sound amazing 🙂 So lovely pictures!

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