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Pies and Tarts
Italian ricotta pie
Torta con il Riso (Italian rice and ricotta pie; flavored with Sambuca, orange and lemon zest)
Originated from: Italy
Occasion: Easter; special events
Contributed by: Anna-Maria Benvenuto

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For the pastry dough
4 eggs
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
A little bit of salt [about 1/8 teaspoon]
A little vanilla [about a teaspoon]
Flour as much as is needed [about 3 cups]

For the filling
6 eggs
1 pound raw rice [Cooked in water]
Zest of 1 orange
Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 glass [2.5 ounces] of Sambuca (or any other anise-flavor liqueur)
1 cup sugar
2 containers of ricotta [450 grams each]

10 uova
1 libra riso
1 buccie arancio
1 buccie limone
1 piziere di sale
1 c. oglio
1 po di vaniglia
1/2 bicchieri Sambuca
1 tazze zucchero
2 ricotta

Per fare la pasta 4 uova, un pisico sale, 1 c. vaniglia, 1 c. olio e farine per fare come un pizza e lavorare! Poi stendere la pasta, fare delle strisce sopra. Per il sugo un ubaso con il riso. 6 uova battere insieme allo buccio di limone e arancie (gratugiate). I c. tasse zucchero, 1/2 bicchieri anisette, le due ricotta e il riso. Mettere il forno 350 per 1 ora.


To make the pastry dough

o Beat eggs, then add the vegetable oil, vanilla and a pinch of salt.

o Gradually add the flour to the egg mixture.

o Knead the dough until it is malleable, and has the right texture (about 10 minutes).

o Divide the dough into two portions, one larger than the other.

o Shape the dough into two balls, wrap in plastic wrap, then let it rest while the filling is being made.

To make the filling

o Cook a pound of rice in water. Drain.

o Grate an orange and a lemon.

o Beat eggs.

o Add Sambuca (or any other anise-flavoured liqueur) to the beaten eggs.

o Combine the egg mixture with the 2 containers of ricotta, the cooked rice, sugar, the orange and lemon zest. Mix well and then set aside.

To make the pie

o Roll out the larger portion of pastry dough.

o Roll out the smaller portion of pastry dough and make strips for the top of the pie.

o Grease a pie dish (The pie dish should be rather large to contain the substantial ricotta mixture -- the thickness of the uncooked mixture should measure about an inch high); the shape of the pie dish can be round or rectangular. If one plans to serve the pie to a large number of people, a rectangular pie dish or baking pan is preferable as more pieces can be cut.).

o Line the pie dish with the pastry dough.

o Add the ricotta and rice mixture to the pie dish.

o Make a lattice topping.

To bake the pie

o Pre-heat oven to 350 F degrees.

o Bake until the filling is cooked through -- about 45 minutes to an a hour.


Mrs. Anna-Maria Benvenuto has collected hundreds of recipes from relatives, friends and neighbors over the years. She recorded the recipes in Italian in numerous notebooks, often naming the recipe after the person who gave it to her. She also copied recipes from Italian cookbooks, magazines and newspapers. The recipe in this entry was found in an Italian cookbook published in the early 1970s. Being an avid baker Mrs. Benvenuto tried out many of the recipes herself. However, because of her talent and expertise, she did not feel the need to write detailed instructions as she knew how to make the recipes without them. However, when asked by this website's archivist (Mary Melfi) for details, she quickly volunteered the information. Nonetheless, as with most first generation Italian-Canadian handwritten recipes, it is understood that whoever attempts to duplicate them should have some knowledge of what they are doing.... While Mrs. Benvenuto was born in the Veneto region (in 1938) and has a natural fondness for recipes that come from this area, she found that as soon as she immigrated to Montreal, Quebec she developed an instant appreciation for all foods from her homeland.... N.B. Archivist and amateur photographer, Mary Melfi, tried out this recipe and found that it was both easy to do, and it had a very nice flavor.

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