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Pastiera di Riso (Italian Rice Pie)


3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
6 Tbsp sugar
1 ½ tsp baking powder
¾ tsp salt
1 cup cold butter, cut into ½” pieces
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
¾ cup Pastene Italian Arborio Rice
4 cups water
5 large egg yolks, divided
⅔ cup sugar
1 ½ Tbsp cornstarch
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
3 Tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 lb ricotta, about 2 cups
1 ½ tsp grated orange zest
1 ½ tsp grated lemon zest
¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten


  • To make the pastry dough, add flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large food processor and pulse until combined. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal with some roughly pea-size butter lumps. Add eggs and pulse until just incorporated and dough begins to form large clumps.
  • Turn out dough onto a work surface and divide into 4-6 portions. With heel of your hand, smear each portion once or twice in a forward motion to help distribute the butter. Gather dough together, using a pastry scraper, and form into a thick log. Cut off ⅔ of the log and form into a large rectangle for the bottom of the pie. Form the remaining piece into a smaller rectangle for the top of the pie. Chill each, wrapped in plastic wrap, until firm, at least 30 minutes or overnight.
  • Bring rice and well-salted water to a boil in a 2-quart saucepan, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, until rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Drain in a sieve and rinse under cold water until cool. Cover and chill until ready to use.
  • To make the custard, whisk together 3 yolks and sugar in a heatproof bowl, then whisk in cornstarch and flour until smooth and thick. Bring milk just to a boil in a small heavy saucepan, then gradually add hot milk to yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Pour custard back into saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-low heat, whisking constantly (custard will become very thick), then boil, whisking, 1 minute. Remove from heat and whisk in butter and vanilla. Transfer to a bowl and chill, its surface covered with wax paper, until cold, about 2 hours.
  • Stir together ricotta, custard, and remaining 2 yolks, then stir in zests, cinnamon, salt, and cooked rice.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Line the bottom of a 9×12 or similar pan with overlapping double layer of parchment, leaving 2” of overhang on both ends. Roll out the larger piece of dough between 2 sheets of wax paper into a 11×15” rectangle, about ⅛” thick. If dough becomes soft, chill or freeze until firm. Remove top sheet of wax paper and place the dough into the pan, pressing it into the corners and evening out the edges. Chill. Roll out remaining piece of dough between sheets of wax paper in same manner. Cut 12 ¾” wide strips to lay across the top diagonally. Spread filling in pan and arrange 6 strips, 1 1/4 inches apart, diagonally across filling, trimming ends to fit. Arrange remaining 6 strips, 1 1/4 inches apart, diagonally across first strips to form a lattice with diamond-shaped spaces. Trim lattice to fit in pan, and gently press the strips into the base crus. Brush pastry with beaten egg.
  • Bake pie until pastry is golden and filling is puffed and set, about 90 minutes, loosely covering top of pie with foil after 50 minutes to prevent over-browning. Transfer to a rack to cool. When completely cool, lift pie out of pan using foil overhang and transfer to a platter.

Product Used

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