Chocolate Hazelnut Rice Pie Tartlets

Rice Pie (Torta di Riso) is a traditional Italian dessert served at Easter.  When I was growing up, every Italian household had Rice Pie during Easter week and it is still widely enjoyed today.  You might be surprised to know that the recipe contains no flour at all and most of the ingredients are naturally gluten free!

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I jazzed up the plain rice pie we had as kids with toasted hazelnuts, candied orange peel and chocolate chips.  Instead of a pie dish, I opted for this mini fluted tart pan to create 6 individual servings.  Perfect for small Easter gatherings!



Spread the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes at 325°.

Line the tart pan with paper baking cups and mist with cooking spray.

Add milk to a saucepan and heat to a simmer.  Add the rice and stir.  Next stir in the sugar, vanilla and ½ tsp. hazelnut extract.

Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered on low for 45 minutes.

Hint!  Do not walk away while the rice is cooking!  You will need to stir frequently and watch that it doesn’t burn or boil over!  

Remove the cooked rice from the stove, transfer to a bowl and let it cool slightly before combining the rice with the egg mixture (you do not want to cook the eggs).

Whisk the eggs and ricotta in a large bowl. Add the remaining ½ tsp. of hazelnut extract.

Fold in the toasted hazelnuts, candied orange peel and chocolate chips.

Gradually add the rice to the egg mixture, one scoop at a time to temper the eggs.  Stir well after each addition of rice until it is completely incorporated.

Divide the mixture evenly among the 6 cups, each should be about 2/3 full (they will rise to the top during baking).

Bake at 325 degrees for about 25 minutes.  Check with a toothpick and touch the center with your finger (it should feel set, no liquid). Remove from the oven, and while still warm, brush the tops lightly with Frangelico (optional, if serving to adults).

Cool completely in the pan.

Serve the tartlets at room temperature or chilled.  Before serving, dust with cocoa powder and powdered sugar.

This showstopper of a dessert is bound to become one of your Easter favorites!  I know it will at our house!

Notes ♪♫ Carnaroli Rice is widely regarded as the best for making risotto and it is worth seeking out if you can’t find it at the grocery store.  It is a high-quality short grain rice with a wonderful texture that is perfect for making risotto that is creamy but firm.  If you cannot find Carnaroli rice locally, it is available here on Amazon or substitute Arborio rice.

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Butternut Squash Risotto with Shrimp and Roasted Vegetables

Did you ever have a restaurant meal that was so delicious you were inspired to recreate it at home?  This is one of those meals, after just one taste I knew that I had to make it myself!  An elegant dinner for two, it is both comfort food and fine dining rolled into one!  The steps are easy to follow and the results are impressive.  It’s a bit time consuming for a week night, but you can speed things up by making the risotto ahead of time.  I also used a bit of  butternut squash left over from another meal, and for a special garnish, I toasted a few pumpkin seeds.

Dinner for 2 

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  • 1 dozen large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/2 medium cauliflower, chopped into uniform pieces
  • 1/3 cup pureed butternut squash (reserved from another meal)
  • 1 cup cooked risotto, (see basic preparation here)
  • Old Bay® seasoning
  • 2 tbsp. butter, divided
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cups gluten free chicken broth, or more as needed
  • 1 tbsp. pumpkin seeds for garnish


Chop the cauliflower into uniform size pieces, about 1-1/4″.  Rinse, toss with 1 tbsp. olive oil, and season with Old Bay.  Roast at 425º for 20 minutes.  You should see some browning around the edges.

Heat a cast iron braising pan or heavy skillet with 1 tbsp. butter.  Add the shrimp and peas, and sprinkle with Old Bay.

Cook the shrimp for several minutes, just until they turn pink.

Add the roasted cauliflower to the skillet.

Warm the cooked risotto in a small saucepan with the remaining 1 tbsp. of butter, then stir in the butternut squash puree.  If it’s too thick add 1/3 cup chicken broth.

To plate, make a bed of risotto and top with the shrimp and veggies.  Garnish with a few pumpkin seeds.

Isn’t that beautiful?  What a great meal for date night.  I think it was even better than the restaurant version!  If you’re hesitant about making risotto, be sure to give my Basic Risotto recipe a quick read.  It’s easy and you’ll be an expert in no time!

Originally posted 9/08/2019                                               Updated 2/03/2022

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Gluten Free Sorghum Pilaf

Sorghum is an ancient grain that is enjoying renewed popularity.  Nutritious and gluten free, I like to keep it in my whole grain rotation for variety in our healthy diet.  It has a nutty flavor and chewy texture.

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The biggest drawback about making Sorghum is that it takes a long time to cook.  I usually make it when I plan to be in the kitchen for a nice long stretch.  The preparation begins with several hours of pre-soaking, followed by a long, slow simmer along with frequent additions of liquid.


  • 1/2 cup sorghum grain
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup mixed vegetables diced very small (such as shallots, onion, scallion, garlic, mushroom, carrot, celery, red and green bell pepper, zucchini)
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 carton gluten free chicken or vegetable broth (use either or a combination, you will need 1-1/2 to 2 cups total broth)
  • fresh chives, for garnish


In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup of water to a boil and add the sorghum.  Cover and remove from the heat, and let it soak for 3 hours.

After 3 hours, turn the heat to low and simmer until most of the water has evaporated.  Next add 1 tbsp. butter along with the minced vegetables.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Begin adding the broth, 1/3 to 1/2 cup at a time.  Cover and keep on a low simmer, stirring occasionally and add more liquid as it is absorbed.  Be careful not to let the bottom burn!  Continue until the sorghum has doubled in size, about 90 minutes total cook time.

Take a taste to be sure they are cooked through!  The grains will be plumped up but will still have a good chew, like “al dente” pasta.  Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with fresh chives.

This is a nutritious and fiber rich side that will fill you up.  Try it, it’s delicious and a nice change of pace from the usual rice and potato sides!

Notes ♪♫ I used Bobs Red Mill whole grain sorghum in this recipe.  Did you know that Sorghum grain can also be milled into flour for baking?  Learn more in this post about Using a Grain Mill!

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Jumbo Scallops with Risotto, Cubed Squash and Brussels Chips

Jumbo Sea Scallops are paired with risotto, roasted squash cubes and Brussels sprouts chips in this elegant, five-star dinner.  This is the kind of meal you might see in a high end restaurant or gourmet magazine, but today I’ll show you how to make it at home for a fraction of the cost!

Jumbo sea scallops are a real treat, and can be expensive when not in season.  Watch for sales, or buy frozen if available.

The Lazy Gastronome


  • 8 oz. jumbo sea scallops
  • 1/2 cup Arborio rice
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 32 oz. carton gluten free chicken broth (you won’t need all of it)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • fresh chives or chive seasoning
  • 2 cups butternut squash, cut into 1/2″ cubes
  • garlic seasoning
  • 2 cups Brussels sprouts, leaves separated
  • olive oil


1. Toss the squash cubes with 1 tbsp. olive oil.  Season with salt, pepper and garlic seasoning.  Spread the squash cubes on a baking sheet lined with parchment, then bake at 375º for 10 minutes.

2. Wash the Brussels sprouts leaves and discard any that are bruised.  Toss with 1 tbsp. olive oil, salt and pepper.  Add them to the baking sheet with the squash cubes and continue baking at 375º for another 30 minutes.

3. Make the risotto.  Add butter, shallots and rice to a shallow pan, stirring to coat.  Add the white wine and stir until almost evaporated.  Add the chicken broth, 1 ladle at a time and stir over low heat until almost evaporated.  Continue adding broth, 1 ladle at a time until risotto is finished, about 30 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and chives and finish with a pat of butter.

4. Sear the scallops in butter about 3 minutes per side, with just a splash of white wine.  To get that beautiful caramelized crust do not use a non-stick pan!

5. To plate, spread the risotto in an even layer on a serving dish.  Top with the squash cubes, and Brussels sprouts chips.  Finally, arrange the scallops across the top.

A beautiful, colorful plate with the perfect blend of flavors and textures!


Notes ♪♫ If you are new to making risotto, please refer to my Basic Risotto Recipe, a full post dedicated to making this amazing dish.

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Gluten Free Risotto Cakes

Risotto Cakes are a family favorite, impressive enough for guests or even a holiday appetizer or side dish.  Isn’t it great that we can still enjoy them on a gluten free diet?  This recipe is a great way to use up leftover risotto, but you may find yourself cooking up a fresh batch just to make these delectable Risotto Cakes!  Are you new to making risotto?  Check out my Basic Risotto Recipe for a step by step tutorial.

8 Servings



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Always start with cold risotto, it makes the rice easier to handle and the cakes will hold together during cooking.  If you’re making it from scratch, be sure that the risotto has been cooled and refrigerated for several hours.

Set up 3 breading trays with white rice flour, beaten egg + water, and gluten free breadcrumbs.  Start with ½ cup flour and ½ cup breadcrumbs and add more if needed.

Scoop a ¼ cup portion of rice and press into a ball.  Continue to form a total of 8 rice balls.

Use a spatula to flatten each rice ball into a ½” thick cake.

Handle the cakes carefully using spatula and floured fingers.  Pat each cake in the flour, then dip in the egg, and finally coat with breadcrumbs.

Melt 2 tbsp. Butter and 2 tbsp. Olive oil in a large nonstick skillet.  Add the rice cakes and cook for 10 minutes on medium low heat, turning once.

They should be heated through and nicely browned on the outside.  Don’t they look great?

Garnish with fresh chives and serve immediately.

Hubby and I both loved this easy, gluten free side!  The crunchy breading is a nice contrast to the soft, sticky interior.  Thanks for stopping by today and I hope you will check out more of my favorite risotto recipes here!

Notes ♪♫  Carnaroli rice is widely regarded as the best for making risotto and it is worth seeking out if you can’t find it at the grocery store.  It is a high quality short grain rice with a wonderful texture that is perfect for making risotto that is creamy but firm.  If you cannot find Carnaroli rice then substitute Arborio.

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Basic Risotto Recipe

Rice is a staple of the gluten free diet, and Risotto is always a favorite for family dinners and special occasions.  Some might shy away from making Risotto because it requires constant attention.  True, you cannot just put the lid on and walk away, but it’s worth the effort for this very special treat.  This basic preparation is one that you must have in your recipe box!  Once you have mastered a basic risotto you can use it as an elegant side or as a base for another dish.  Check out some of my favorite Risotto recipes here.

2-3 servings


  • ½ cup Arborio or Carnaroli rice
  • 2 tbsp. Butter, divided
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pinch of saffron (optional)
  • 32 oz. Carton gluten free chicken broth at room temperature (start with a full carton but you won’t need all of it)
  • Fresh chives or chive seasoning for garnish


When making risotto, be sure that your chicken broth is warm or at least at room temperature.  You want it to come to temperature quickly when adding it to the rice.

To get started, melt 1 tbsp. butter in a heavy skillet or sauce pot on medium low heat.  Add the shallot and stir to coat with butter.

Continue cooking for 1-2 minutes.

Add the rice to the pan and stir to coat with butter for 1 minute.  Add the white wine and stir constantly until most of the wine has evaporated.

Next add 1 ladle (about ½ cup) of chicken broth.

Stir frequently, and when the rice has absorbed most of the broth add another ladle.

Continue adding the broth, 1 ladle at a time stirring constantly until  absorbed and the rice is finished, about 30 minutes.  Don’t walk away!

When it’s almost finished, season with salt, pepper and chives.

Finish with a pat of butter.

This basic recipe is a great jumping off place for some amazing risotto dishes.  You can stir in grated cheese, sauteed mushrooms, even butternut squash puree!  Check out some of my favorite risotto recipes here!

Notes ♪♫  Carnaroli rice is widely regarded as the best for making risotto and it is worth seeking out if you can’t find it at the grocery store.  It is a high quality short grain rice with a wonderful texture that is perfect for making risotto that is creamy but firm.  If you cannot find Carnaroli rice then substitute Arborio.

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