Rice Pie or Tart of the Sacred Ornaments / Torta degli Addobbi

SERVES 6 — 8

This interesting rice pie or Torta degli Addobbi, meaning decorations, takes its name from a religious festival that occurs in Bologna. The festivals began in the fifteenth century when a church decree required that every 10 years the sacred church vessels and statues be paraded through the streets. Windows and balconies throughout the city are decorated with colorful flags and banners to celebrate the event.


  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 Zest oflemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons long grain rice
  • 1/2 cup diced citron
  • 1/3 cup chopped almonds
  • 3 large eggs
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
  • 1/4 cup Amaretto di Saronno


  1. Preheat the oven to 425F.
  2. Butter a 9-inch pie plate and set aside.
  3. Pour the water and milk into a 2-quart saucepan. Stir in the sugar, lemon zest and salt and bring the mixture to a boil. Stir in the rice and cook until all the liquid is absorbed, about 25 to 30 minutes. Stir as often as necessary to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the saucepan.
  4. Transfer the rice to a bowl and allow it to cool. Stir in the citron, almonds, eggs and butter. Transfer the mixture to the buttered pie pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until nicely browned. Allow the tart to cool.
  5. Use a toothpick to poke holes all over the top then brush the top with the Amaretto. Cut into wedges to serve.

This recipe was featured on Season 14 - Episode 1417.

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Thank you for this wonderful recipe!
I love your way of cooking 🙂

dorothy horstenson

mary ann you are the best Italian cook mario can’t even touch you I have watch you for so many years.you are the best god bless you.

Barbara F.

I love rice pie. We made it and called it pastiera di riso! Flavored with lemon, no citron I don’t believe and it was made for holidays. Especially Easter. I never heard it referred to as Pie of the Sacred Ornaments though. I can never pin a recipe of yours from the article directly to Pinterest. I always get a message that parameters are wrong or something like that. I have an iPad Air which limits me. Anything you can do on your end with these parameters?


My grandmother made a pie like this every Easter, and called it pastia. Her recipe called for the zest and juice of 1 lemon, but no almonds and no citron. She also baked hers in a pie shell–solid on the bottom and lattice on the top. We lost her many years ago, but she lives on in my memory

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