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Italian Rice Casserole

This recipe started with a sandwich at my daughter place. I was up helping her and her husband.  She went to get lunch, and brought back Italian subs. They were delicious. A couple of weeks later, I was coming home from her place and drove by the deli. A quick visit and I was bringing home some of their Italian sausage. 

1/2 lbs ground round
1/2 lbs Italian sausage removed from casing
1 can San Marzano tomatoes 
1/2 cup diced sweet onion divided 
1 small diced red pepper divided 
1/4 cup celery diced
1/4 cup diced carrot
2 cloves garlic finely diced 
1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
1 tablespoon Italian spice
1/2 teaspoon basil
2 cups beef broth
Extra virgin olive oil as needed.

Preheat a skillet over medium heat. Begin by browning the sausage and ground round in olive oil until no pink remains. Break the meat up into  medium crumbs. Remove meat and add the celery, carrots, garlic and half the onions to the pan cooking until fragrant. Remove and puree vegetables in your food processor.  Add the tomatoes and pulse until the tomatoes are diced to your own preference. 
Add rice and remaining onion and peppers  to the pan and saute until the the rice is lightly toasted. 
Add all the ingredients including the juice from the tomatoes to a medium sized sauce pan. Bring to a low boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer untill all the juices are absorbed and rice is tender 
Plate and enjoy!