Tag Archives: Rice

Traditional Recipe: Saffron Risotto

Saffron Risotto (Risotto Allo Zafferano) is a Lombard recipe, much appreciated in the North of Italy for its wonderful delicate flavour and also because is one of the simplest risotto recipes to make. This amazing risotto is usually served on its own, without meat or fish and it has a lovely saffron flavour, well complemented with the Parmesan cheese, which is added at the final stage of the recipe, like in most Italian risotto dishes.

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Saffron Risotto is often confused with Milanese Risotto (Risotto alla Milanese), another renowned Lombard recipe; in both these risottos we use saffron as a main ingredient but there are some differences in the ingredients.

Tips.

1. It is very important to only use good quality products, in order to make a delicious risotto.

2. Also see How To Make A Perfect Risotto

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Saffron Risotto (Risotto allo Zafferano) 

Medium difficulty

Preparation time: 5 minutes (not considering the broth)

Cooking time: 25-30 minutes

Ingredients

For 4 servings

350 g (12.3 oz) Carnaroli rice or Arborio rice

a pinch of saffron (enough to colour the rice of a bright yellow)

1 large onion, very finely chopped

1 glass of good white wine (not acidic, this is very important!)

150 g (5.3 oz)  freshly grated Grana Padano cheese

125 g (4.4 oz) good quality fresh butter

1 litre (33, 8 fl oz us) hot vegetable broth (see below)

For vegetable broth

1 large carrot

1 large onion

1 celery stalk (also use the leaves, if you have them)

salt and pepper to taste

Method.

1. In a large pan, prepare the vegetable broth. Wash, clean and roughly chop the vegetables, then fill the pan with plenty of water and cook the vegetables until tender. Season with some fine sea salt (do not exceed), then sift the broth and remove the vegetables.

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2. Sauté the onion in 80 g of butter, over a low heat for about 10-15 minutes.

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3. Add the rice and fry for a few minutes over a medium heat, then pour in a glass of white wine and stir. Shimmer until all the wine evaporates.

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4. Lower the heat and add the hot broth (a little at a time), stirring constantly. Let the broth evaporate and continue adding the broth and stirring, until the rice is creamy and properly cooked. During the cooking time add the saffron (diluted in a little bit of warm vegetable broth).

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5. Turn off the heat and add the finals ingredients to the risotto. Add the rest of the butter, 3-4 tablespoons of grated Grana Padano and season with salt and pepper ( taste it and season only if needed), then stir and cover with a lid. Let the risotto rest for a few minutes and serve.

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How To Make A Perfect Risotto

Risotto is one of the finest Italian dishes and is appreciated all over the world. There are endless variations. Each region has its own traditional risotto recipes made with seafood, meat or vegetables. Today we are going to explore the method to make a perfect risotto, the Italian way!

Four important steps.

To make a good risotto it is important to follow each recipe step by step. There are 4 basic steps in the preparation process of each risotto:

1. Sauté the onions

2. Fry the rice

3. Cook the risotto

4. Let the risotto rest

Today we are going to see each of these steps in depth.

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A few notes on the preparation process.

1. The preparation time and the ingredients will vary depending on the recipe.

2. During the whole process you have to constantly stir the risotto, therefore it’s important to prepare all the ingredients before you start cooking.

3. Don’t reheat the risotto because the rice will become chewy and dry. Prepare the risotto and serve it.

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Method.

1. Sauté the onions. Sauté the onions in butter over a very low heat, until they are very tender and almost transparent.

Notes. The onions have to dissolve in your mouth when you taste the risotto. You can replace the onions with shallots, spring onions or garlic, depending on the recipe.

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2. Fry the rice. When the onions are ready, add the rice and then fry it over a medium heat for a few minutes (stir constantly).

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3. Cook the risotto. After frying the rice, add the wine.  Once the wine flavour is absorbed and the alcohol evaporated, add the hot broth (usually a full ladle at a time) and cover the rice with it. Continue cooking and stirring. Once the liquid is almost completely absorbed, add more broth until you reach the ideal cooking consistency.

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Notes. Use hot broth, because a cold broth will lower the temperature and compromise the cooking process.

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4. Let the risotto rest. When the risotto is creamy and properly cooked, add the final ingredients (usually butter and cheese), stir well, cover with a lid and let the rice rest for a few minutes. Now the risotto is ready to be served.

Note. This will make the risotto very creamy and tasty.

Also see Traditional Recipe: Saffron Risotto

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Budget Friendly And Full Of Flavour!

This week we are going to prepare a lovely spring risotto with corn salad and fresh peas. This is a cheap and easy risotto to make, perfect for this season! You don’t usually cook corn salad, but a few weeks ago I had some left in the fridge, so I made a soup with it to use it up and It was really lovely!

Corn salad can be used instead of spinach or asparagus, and in fact the taste is somewhere in between the two vegetables, but very delicate. Moreover, It’s cheaper than a bunch of asparagus, which is great! Give it a try, you’ll love it!!!

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Risotto With Fresh Peas And Corn Salad.

Cooking time: 35 minutes

Preparation: 20 minutes

Ingredients

for 2 servings

160 g (5.6 oz, 3/4 cup) arborio rice

100 g (3.5 oz) fresh peas without the pods (about 200 g ,7 oz, with the pods)

100 g (3.5 oz) of corn salad (lamb’s lettuce), washed and roughly chopped

3 shallots, peeled and finely chopped

1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

a small piece of butter (which you can replace with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, if you wish)

700 ml (3 cups vegetable stock), warm (made with an organic stock cube and water)

4 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese

salt and pepper to taste

a hint of nutmeg (optional, but very nice!)

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Method.

1. In a large heavy based pan, pour 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, add a small piece of butter and gently fry the shallots over a low heat (without burning them). After a few minutes add the garlic, then stir.

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2. Add the rice and the peas and stir. After 2 minutes, gradually pour in the vegetable stock.

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3. Simmer and stir at a moderate heat until the broth is mostly absorbed. Add the corn salad, then lower the heat and simmer for another 10 minutes (stirring continuously) until creamy.

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4. Turn off the heat, season with a hint of nutmeg, 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper; then put the lid on the pan and let the risotto sit for a few minutes. Serve with plenty of grated Parmesan on top.

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Tip. Garnish the dish with some fresh corn salad leaves.

Risotto Con Piselli Freschi e Valerianella.

Preparazione: 20 minuti

Cottura: 35 minuti

Ingredienti

per 2 persone

160 g riso arborio

100 g di piselli freschi sbucciati (200 g circa di peso con il bacello)

100 g di valerianella, lavata e tagliata grossolanamente

50 g di scalogno, sbucciato e tritato finemente

1 spicchio d’aglio, sbucciato e tritato

3 cucchiai di olio extra vergine d’oliva

una nonce di burro (che potete sostituire con 1 cucchiaio d’olio in più, se lo desiderate)

700 ml di brodo vegetale, caldo (fatto con un dado biologico)

un pizzico di noce moscata

sale e pepe q. b.

parmigiano grattugiato q. b.

Preparazione.

1. In una pentola grande a fondo spesso, versate 3 cucchiai di olio extra vergine d’oliva, aggiungete il burro e fate soffriggere lo scalogno a fiamma bassa. Dopo qualche minuto aggiungete l’aglio.

2. Unite al soffritto anche il riso e i piselli. Fate rosolare per qualche minuto, poi annaffiate con abbondante brodo vegetale. Continuate ad aggiungere il brodo gradualmente, durante la cottura.

3. Fate cuocere a fuoco moderato (mescolando sempre), finché il brodo si sarà ritirato quasi completamente. Aggiungete la valerianella verso fine cottura, poi abbassate il fuoco e fate cuocere per altri 10 minuti (sempre mescolando).

4. Spegnete il fuoco, condite con un pizzico di noce moscata, qualche cucchiaio di parmigiano, sale e pepe; lasciate riposare per qualche minuto il risotto, chiudendo la pentola con un coperchio. Servite con abbondante parmigiano.

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