I had seen this recipe on the web a couple month ago and I was dying for an excuse to make this! I invited some friends over for some hot tubing, wine and dinner and made this! This comes from Skinny Taste, one of my favorite healthy eating websites. She is a great resource for those of you who do weight watchers.
This casserole is pretty healthy and taste just like those awesome Arancini balls that I love!!! While I might have added a little more cheese and an extra sausage for my guests, this dish would still be amazing with out the extra add ins.
adapted from Skinny Taste
2 cups long grain rice
4 cups water
2 sweet Italian Chicken Sausage links, casing removed
1/4 cup onion, minced
salt and pepper
1 cup sliced cremini mushrooms
1/3 cup egg whites
1/2 cup pecorino Romano
4 Tbsp. seasoned bread crumbs
1 1/4 cup shredded part skim mozzarella
red chili flakes
1. Cook rice in water according to directions on the package, set aside to cool.
2. Sautee sausage meat, cooking until brown and breaking up the pieces with a wooden spoon. Add turkey and onions and cook until browned, breaking up the pieces as it cooks all the way through. Season the mix with salt and pepper. Add in the mushrooms and 8oz tomato sauce. Simmer on low and cover for about 20 minutes.
3. Pre heat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl combine rice, pecorino, eggs and 4 oz. tomato sauce and mix well. *Optional: Add in a couple dashes for red chili flakes for some heat*
4. Spray a 9x12 casserole dish with cooking spray (get the edges too). Add in 2 tbsp. of the breadcrumbs into the dish and roll around so that it evenly coats the dish.
5. Place half of the rice mixture into the casserole dish, cover the bottom of the dish and up the sides, pressing it firmly into a bottom layer. Layer in the meat mixture and sprinkle mozzarella on top (saving some to sprinkle on top). Top with the remaining rice mixture and spread it until even. Top with the remaining tomato sauce, bread crumbs and cheese.
6. Cover with a piece of foil (tent the foil so you don’t loose any of that cheese!). Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes.
Let the dish sit for 10 minutes to set. Garnish with basil.
So good! My friends and I completely ate this up in a heartbeat.