Timballo di riso alla Siciliana for Thanksgiving and Eid al-Adha

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Thanksgiving, the time to give thanks for the harvest and express gratitude, and Eid al-Adha, the end of the Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca, are taking place at the same time this year. And what does Sicily have to do with it?
This coincidence just made me think about the influence of both America and North-Africa in Sicilian cuisine. What would Sicilian food be like without tomatoes, prickly pears, potatoes, cocoa or rice, eggplants, sugar, marzipan, etc.

So today I decided to cook a "timballo di riso", an homage to "rice and the art of timballi" brought to Sicily from North Africa during the Arab domination and "tomatoes" an American present to the rest of the world, which found in Sicily a perfect climate to grow as well as a central role in the local cuisine.

Timballo di riso

500 gr Italian rice (Arborio or Carnaroli)
200gr mince meat
1 Onion
100gr bread crumbs
100gr grated cheese, caciocavallo ragusano or parmesan cheese
2 eggs
2 hard boiled eggs
4 slices of provoletta cheese
500 ml tomato sauce (previously prepared with onion and basil)
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Boil rice in abundant salted water. Drain and, while still hot,
stir in 300ml tomato sauce, 2 beaten eggs and the grated cheese. Set aside to cool down.
Saute' the sliced onion until soft and add the mince meat. When the meat is seared add salt and pepper to taste.
Prepare a round baking tray brushing it with olive oil and coat it with
breadcrumbs. Cover the bottom and the sides of the tray with a layer of rice, then add a layer of mince meat, cover with slices of hard boiled egg and provoletta cheese. Cover with another layer of rice, brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with grated cheese.
Bake in the oven at 180C┬░ for 20 minutes or until golden brown. To serve, place a spoon of tomato sauce in the middle of a flat dish, lay on top a slice of timballo and decorate with basil leaves.