A dish to remember – Spicy Rice Cake With Tomatoes and Pancetta

dropsSpicy Rice Cake With Tomatoes and  Pancetta

   First of all I want to thank you for all your warm comments on my ramble on food blogging, it just proves what I always say: I have the best readers there are! Some of you are even too nice, I might get carried away by the nice compliments and turn into a spoilt old brat. Or a grump although the nice spring weather here is doing its best to de-grump me by filling my mind with sunshine. It feels as if the winter has been interminable and when I now see blooms and blossoms and mouse eared leaves, the surprise and sense of relief is immense. It is as if my being have forgotten what spring is really like but I don’t mind because that just makes it feel even better.

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    Not only had I forgotten the wonders of Spring, I also had forgotten about rice cakes; years ago I used to make different kinds of rice cakes, sometimes for dinner, sometimes as finger food but when I was leafing through an old, quite bad, cookbook I bought when I was a student a life time ago something triggered a cog in my brain and I suddenly remembered rice cakes. Lovely dish with never ending possibilities of variation so prepare yourself for future rice cakes popping up here. They are easy, simple and quite wonderful to eat so why don’t you too start experimenting? To begin with you can make this one. (And if you wonder, yes I am on a pancetta/bacon trip right, just be patient and it will wear off)

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SPICY RICE CAKE WITH TOMATOES AND PANCETTA
4-6 servings

350 g/ 12,5 ounce rice
1 can of tomatoes
125 g/ 4,4 ounce sliced smoked pancetta or bacon
1-1,5 tsp Ras el Hanout spices or some other mix you like
100 ml freshly grated parmesan cheese plus some more for the topping
finely chopped parsley
salt
extra-virgin olive oil

   Cook the rice in lots of water until almost cooked then rinse in cold water to stop it cooking.

   Cut the pancetta slices in pieces and fry these until crispy.

   Blend the tomatoes and the juices until smooth. Mix rice, tomato sauce, parmesan and pancetta with spices and salt. Taste to adjust flavours.

   Either grease an oven proof form or line it with parchment paper. Distribute the rice evenly and then sprinkle the surface with more grated parmesan cheese.

   Bake in a pre-heated oven (200°C/390°F) for 15-20 minutes or until golden. Before serving, sprinkle with chopped parsley.

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