In some neighborhoods this is called grain pie. We are using pasta frolla made with butter for the crust. Some people use lard and bake it in a 10” springform. The dough is crumbly and tender, easy to make and foolproof to work with. If you tear it, just pinch the edges together. This pie is traditionally served at Easter. It is loaded with symbols of renewal, the grains of wheat, eggs and fresh ricotta. Orange and cinnamon are traditional flavors. Sometimes people use orange flower water, some add candied orange peel. We use orange zest.
Here is an old and comforting dish of rice and lentils topped with crispy fried onions. Usually, you start the lentils then add the white rice after 15-20 minutes. Brown rice is a nutritious whole grain with the bran and germ intact. It takes longer to cook than polished white rice, so we are starting the rice and lentils together. The spice blend (to which we are tempted to add a ¼ teaspoon of cardamom) is inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi.
Yogurt with chopped sweet herbs like parsley, mint and tarragon stirred through makes a great topping.
Venere Nero is a hybrid of Imperial Black Rice and an Italian varietal, harvested from the traditional rice-growing areas of the Po
River Valley. This rice is a whole, unprocessed and nutritious grain. This salad is simple to prepare, fresh-tasting and gorgeous in the
bowl. Recipe created by Chef Natalie Maxwell.