Baked Rice (Ross il-Forn)

This is a typical dish you would find both on Italian and Maltese tables or even under the umbrellas at the beach. The Maltese call it Ross il-Forn (ross means rice and forn oven), and usually they have a richest recipe than mine, as ross il-forn may also features ricotta, marrows and bacon (according to different family recipe versions).

The recipe I propose you here is simply made of meat and cheese.

Buon appetito πŸ™‚

Baked Rice (Ross il-Forn)
  • DifficultyEasy
  • CostCheap
  • Preparation time1 Hour
  • Cooking time50 Minutes
  • Cooking methodOven
  • CuisineMediterranea


  • 1500 mlTomato puree
  • 500 gMinced meat
  • 400Rice (Carnaroli variety)
  • 250 gProvolone cheese
  • 250 ggrated Parmesan cheese
  • 35 gButter
  • 2Carrots
  • 2Eggs
  • 2 spoonsextra virgin olive oil
  • 1 sprigCelery
  • 1White onion
  • 1 spoonTomato paste
  • 1 bouquetfresh basil
  • 1 pinchTable salt
  • q.s.Breadcrumbs


  1. – chop the onion, the carrot and the celery;

    – put them in a large saucepan;

    – add the pinch of table salt;

    – add around 2 full spoons of extra virgin olive oil and mix well;

    – put the pan on the stove and put on medium heat;

    – as soon as the oil starts to fry lower the heat, cover the saucepan and let the vegetables simmer slowly;

    – when the vegetables become soft, add the minced meat, put the heat to medium and stir well for a few seconds;

    – add the tomato puree and mix well;

    – lower the heat once again and let the meat sauce simmer for about 1 hour (add the tomato paste and the basil after the first 30 minutes);

    – the sauce will be ready when most of the water will have evaporated. You must obtain a creamy sauce, not a liquid one;

    – while the meat sauce is simmering, boil the rise in a separate pot in abundant salted water;

    – remove the rice from the stove 5 minutes before it would finalise its cooking, then drain it and keep it aside inside a very large bowl;

    – remove the saucepan form the stove as soon as the meat sauce is ready;

    – pour the cooked sauce onto the boiled rice and mix well;

    – add the eggs and mix well;

    – add the grated Parmesan cheese and mix well;

    – chop the provolone cheese into small cubes and add it to the rice, mix well;

    – grease a 35cm rectangular baking pan with some butter;

    – pour the rice onto the baking pan;

    – sprinkle the top with breadcrumbs;

    – cut the remaining butter into small pieces and spread it on top;

    – bake at 175 degrees for about 50 minutes;

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