Total Calories: 2,498
1 Prepare the sauce: In a medium bowl, soak the mushrooms in the water for 30 minutes. Lift the mushrooms out of the soaking liquid. Strain the liquid through a paper coffee filter or a piece of dampened cheesecloth into a clean bowl and set aside. Rinse the mushrooms under running water, paying special attention to the base where soil collects. Finely chop the mushrooms.
2 Put the onion and oil in a wide heavy saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally until the onion is tender and golden, about 10 minutes. Stir in the chopped mushrooms. Add the tomatoes and the reserved mushroom liquid. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 30 minutes.
3 Prepare the meatballs: In a medium bowl, soak the bread in the milk for 5 minutes and squeeze dry. In the same bowl, combine the bread, veal, cheese, garlic, parsley, egg, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. Shape the mixture into 1-inch meatballs.
4 In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the meatballs and cook, turning them with tongs, until browned on all sides. With a slotted spoon, transfer the meatballs to a plate. Pour off the oil and carefully wipe out the skillet with paper towels.
5 In the same skillet, combine the sausages and enough water to cover them halfway. Cover and cook over medium-low heat until the water evaporates and the sausages begin to brown. Uncover and cook the sausages, turning them occasionally, until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Cut the sausages into slices.
6 In a medium bowl, gently stir together the meatballs, sausage slices, mozzarella, and peas with 2 cups of the tomato and mushroom sauce and set aside.
7 In a large pot, combine the remaining sauce with 4 cups water. Bring the mixture to a boil. Add the rice and 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring the liquid back to the boil and stir once or twice. Cover and cook over low heat until the rice is barely tender, about 15 minutes.
8 Remove the pot from the heat. Let the rice cool slightly. Stir in the Parmigiano. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
9 Butter the inside of a deep 21/2-quart casserole dish or ovenproof bowl. Sprinkle it with 4 tablespoons of the bread crumbs. Spoon about twothirds of the rice into the prepared casserole dish, pressing it against the bottom and sides to make a rice "shell." Spoon the meatball and sausage mixture into the center. Cover with the remaining rice and spread evenly. Sprinkle the top with the remaining crumbs. (If not preparing right away, cover and refrigerate the timbale.)
10 About 2 hours before serving, place a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake the timbale 11/2 hours or until the surface is lightly browned and the mixture is hot in the center. (Exact cooking time depends on the size and shape of the casserole. Use an instant-read thermometer to check the temperature in the center. It should be at least 140°F.)
11 Have a cooling rack ready. Let the timbale cool on the rack 10 minutes. Run a knife or a metal spatula around the inside edge of the casserole dish. Place a large platter over the casserole. Holding the dish (with a pot holder) firmly against the platter, invert both to transfer the timbale onto the platter. Sprinkle with parsley. Cut into wedges to serve. Serve hot.
From "1,000 Italian Recipes." Copyright 2004 by Michele Scicolone. Used with permission of the publisher, Wiley Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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