Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Rice Ball Casserole

I am a HUGE fan of Gina's site. She shares great "lightened" recipes on her blog & no matter how often I go to her site I am always writing down 1 or 2 new recipes to try. I made this one last week:

2 cups uncooked long grain rice
4 cups water
1 sweet Italian sausage link, casing removed
10 oz lean ground turkey
1/4 cup onion, minced
salt and fresh pepper
5 oz frozen peas
16 oz tomato sauce
1/3 cup egg beaters or egg whites
1/2 cup pecorino romano
cooking spray
4 tbsp seasoned breadcrumbs, divided
1 1/4 cup shredded part skim mozzarella

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

Meanwhile, sauté sausage meat; cook until brown breaking up into pieces as it cooks. Add turkey and onions and cook until browned. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then add peas and 8 oz tomato sauce and simmer on low, covered, about 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400°. In a large bowl combine rice, pecorino romano, eggs, and 3-4 oz tomato sauce and mix well.

Spray a 9 x 12 casserole dish with cooking spray, making sure to spray sides too. Add 2 tbsp breadcrumbs to the dish and roll around to coat the bottom and sides.
Take half of the rice mixture and cover the bottom of the dish, press to form the bottom layer. Add the meat and peas. Sprinkle mozzarella on top. Top with remaining rice and press until even. Top with remaining 4 oz of sauce, remaining 2 tbsp breadcrumbs, and remaining mozzarella. Cover with foil and bake 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake 10 more minutes.

Serves 8. I cut ours into 6 portions. Served it with caprese salad. I really enjoyed it & will make it again.

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