Cookbook:Rice Cooked in Tomato Meat Sauce (Ross il-Forn)

Rice Cooked in Tomato Meat Sauce (Ross il-Forn)
CategoryMaltese recipes

Cookbook | Ingredients | Recipes

Ross il-forn is a dish of rice cooked in tomato meat sauce from Malta.

Ingredients edit

Tomato meat sauce edit

Casserole edit

Procedure edit

Tomato meat sauce edit

  1. Heat the oil in a pan. Add the onion, and cook until translucent.
  2. Add the bacon and garlic, and cook for a couple minutes.
  3. Stir in the tomato paste, then the minced meat. Cook, breaking up the meat, until the meat is browned all over.
  4. Stir in the tomatoes and juice. Simmer for a while until the tomatoes no longer taste raw or metallic. It should be saucy and not watery in texture.
  5. Let cool.

Casserole edit

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Butter a stoneware, Pyrex, or aluminium dish/pan—rectangular is traditional but not obligatory.
  3. Rinse the greased dish in water and shake out excess.
  4. Whisk 1 egg lightly in a small bowl with a fork.
  5. Place the rice, 500 ml of the tomato meat sauce, and the 120 g grated cheese in the dish along with the beaten egg and the water. Season lightly and mix gently but thoroughly.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes, then remove from the oven and stir. At this point the rice should be nearly cooked, but there should be enough liquid left to complete the cooking. If it seems to have dried out too much, stir in some more water.
  7. Mix the remaining egg with the remaining cheese and distribute over the top.
  8. Return to the oven and bake a further 30–40 minutes or until well-browned and firm on top. The water should have been fully absorbed and the texture should be firm but moist under the topping.

Notes, tips, and variations edit

  • Best eaten warm but also delicious cold when the "Ross il-Forn" can be cut into squares and wrapped in cooking foil for eating on the beach or to take on a picnic. Very small squares make good party finger food if placed in paper cups or skewered with toothpicks.
  • You can mix in large pieces of 1 or 2 chopped hard boiled eggs.
  • You may season with ground allspice as well as salt and pepper.
  • If you don't use the sweet spice you may add saffron strands (warmed briefly in a dry pan then crumbled and soaked in an espresso size cup of hot water) to colour and flavour the cooking water.