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Risoni – Baked with the simple flavors of the Mediterranean!

Posted on February 4, 2014 by in pasta, vegetarian

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Risoni is a form of pasta! It literally means “big rice” and  is also sometimes referred to as orzo.

Risoni is perfect for light summer salads, adds bulk to your soups in winter, but I made this pasta bake the other night and it was such a hit with the family, that I just have to share it! Risoni literally cooks in a few minutes, which makes it ideal for weekday suppers when mom arrives late from work and have to feed the ravenous family in 30 minutes……


I was busy making my favorite tomato sauce, with the intent that I can quickly make a few meatballs so that we can have spaghetti and meatballs for supper. Like with so many of you, “time” got in the way of my good intention, but our risoni bake was so divine, that no one missed a meatball! I think if I can give you one piece of advise, it would be: “Don’t panic  if you run out of time. The family will not die a sudden death if they have to eat a sandwich for supper. In fact for so many hungry people, a sandwich would be like a meal for a king! Serve the sandwich with flair and pride and be grateful that you still have a family to feed and food to feed your family. Ok, that’s my sermon for the day!

The tomato sauce I make often for pizzas, pastas an even as soup base, is this one! If you are interested in an intense tomato flavor, this sauce is for you. Here is how I changed my tomato sauce into  a delicious risoni pasta bake!


Risoni Pasta Bake

serves 6

Tomato Pasta Sauce
Serves: 6

900g Rosa tomatoes
200ml Olyfberg olive oil
8 Garlic cloves – peeled but kept in whole segments
Handful fresh Basil
Salt and black pepper

500g risoni

80 ml tomato paste

600 ml boiling water

150 – 200g Fresh Parmesan cheese – grated

250 ml grated cheddar or mozarella


Add the olive oil to a large pan / pot and add the garlic and about one handful of torn basil leaves. Heat the oil very slowly on low-medium – we want to infuse the oil with the garlic and basil. Infuse for about 5 minutes – please don’t burn the garlic.
Add all the tomatoes, turn up the heat to medium high and cook for +- 20 minutes without the saucepan lid.
You will see the tomatoes will start to burst open and infuse with the olive oil.
Season generously with salt and freshly grounded black pepper. Please be sure to taste when you season!
Add the risoni to the pasta sauce as well as the water and tomato paste.Cook the pasta until the risoni reaches “al dente” stage and all the sauce has been absorbed.  Stir in the parmesan and scatter the grated cheese on top and put the lid of the pot back on. Allow to stand for 5 minutes to melt the cheese. Serve with scattered basil and more parmesan!


More Easy Pasta Recipes

Pasta shells with rich tomato sauce

Cheesy Pasta Shells


Orecchiette with Napoletana Sauce

mac and cheese

Easiest Mac and Cheese ever!

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One Response to “Risoni – Baked with the simple flavors of the Mediterranean!”

  1. Inga Isaacs 14 February 2014 at 4:02 pm #

    This sound fabulous, will definitely make it as we are all fans of risoni

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