Today we want to offer you a recipe of the tremendous Emilian cuisine: Piacenza rice bomb (rice timballo with mushrooms and pigeon sauce), prepared for us by Filippo Chiappini Dattilo owner of the Antica Osteria del Teatro in Piacenza, a temple of Italian cuisine.
Let’s hear what the chef tells us about the dish. This is my version of the famous Piacenza rice bomb, the classic timbale with rice and pigeon meat sauce.
The name “rice bomb” is due to the use of a mold in the shape of a cannonball in the seventeenth century, which then was modified following the evolution of the form of the bullets.
Who invented the Piacenza bomb (rice timballo with mushrooms and pigeon sauce)?
The recipe for the classic Piacenza bomb is a rice timbale seasoned with a pigeon and mushroom ragout, a typical Renaissance dish from the provinces of Parma and Piacenza that was well displayed on the tables of the nobles on essential occasions.
They used to prepare the rice timbale with pigeon sauce during the holidays because it is a dish that is not easy to make and which first involves cooking and boning the pigeons, a delicacy that is now disappearing due to the scarcity of quality farms.
If you want to try your hand at preparing the Bomba alla Piacentina, roll up your sleeves and get ready for a painstaking job!
Ingredients and doses to make the bomb alla piacentina (timbale of rice, pigeons, and mushrooms)
For the pigeon sauce
- 3 pigeons of the “Grosso Emiliano” and “Fattore” breeds
- 200 grams of chicken livers
- 50 grams of dried porcini mushrooms
- 150 grams of sausage
- 2 tablespoons of Tuscan extra virgin olive oil
- 20 grams of butter
- 2 tablespoons of brown stock
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- 10 grams of salt and pepper
For making timballo
- 300 grams of Carnaroli rice
- 60 grams of butter for the rice
- 10 grams of butter to grease the timbales
- 1 shallot cut into small chunks
- ½ l of meat broth
- 6 grams of salt
How to make piacentina rice bomb (timbale of rice with pigeon sauce)
The recipe for making this Piacenza-style rice timbale is long. It requires patience, several cooking methods, and a considerable commitment, so making this fabulous dish of Renaissance origin takes an entire afternoon.
Eviscerate, wash and flame the pigeons, which must be well matured, then bone them and cut them into small pieces—Fry the shallot with oil and butter.
Add the livers cut in half and well washed the pigeon pieces. Cut the sausage into small pieces and brown briefly.
Add the dried mushrooms, which you have previously soaked for half an hour after having squeezed them, and the brown base.
Let everything reduce and finish cooking in 30 minutes by adding salt and pepper and a little mushroom water when needed.
In a baking dish, lightly fry the shallot with the butter; add the rice, toast it, cover with the hot broth and salt and cook in the oven at 180 degrees for about 15 minutes.
Grease four timbales or “dariole” with butter, line with rice leaving a cavity inside, place a spoonful of sauce, pigeon bites, and mushrooms in the center of each, then close it with more rice making sure that the sauce remains well held in the interior.
Let it rest for a couple of minutes, turn the mold upside down, pour the timbales on the soup plates and decorate them with a generous rim of pigeon bites and very hot mushrooms.
Which wine goes well with the timbale of rice with pigeon and mushrooms?
The dish is a riot of flavors and suggestions, rich, full: its Renaissance origin mixes sweet and salty with incredible lightness.
The wine in this pairing plays a fundamental role as a protagonist: it must help to harmonize many complex flavors and, at the same time, cleanse the mouth with a good freshness. The fruit must be warm, and the spices also help to bring a breath of vivacity.
Do not underestimate Amarone della Valpolicella, Frappato, Aglianico, Nerello Mascalese, Refosco, Brunello di Montalcino. If you want to pair a white wine, choose a structured and mineral wine like Carricante.
If you prefer sparkling wine, a Pinot Nero rosé from Oltrepò Pavese is perfect as well as at km 0.
Recipe courtesy of chef Filippo Chiappini Dattilo from Antica Osteria del Teatro.