Archive for the ‘Risotto’ Category

Red wine risotto with bacon and mushrooms

Posted: September 15, 2012 by nietize in Italian, Pork, Risotto
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From BBC GoodFood
Serves 4

450-500ml/16-18fl oz chicken or vegetable stock, more if needed
85g butter
1 medium onion , chopped
200g round grain risotto rice , such as arborio or carnaroli
500ml red wine , a merlot is ideal
grated Parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), to serve

Heat the stock in a saucepan and keep it warm at the side of the stove. Melt half the butter in a shallow saucepan or casserole, add the onion with salt and pepper and sauté for 5-7 minutes until soft, but not browned. Stir in the rice and sauté it, stirring constantly, until it absorbs the butter, about 2 minutes.

Stir in about half the wine with a little salt and pepper and simmer, stirring, until the rice starts to dry, 5-7 minutes. Add a couple of ladlefuls of hot stock and continue simmering, stirring gently but constantly. When the rice dries again and needs more liquid, add the remaining wine.
Continue cooking, stirring all the time and adding more stock in batches. At the end of cooking, the rice should be tender, still slightly al dente (chewy) and creamy from the starch that has begun to leach from the grains. This will take 25 to 35 minutes and don’t hesitate to use plenty of stock.
Take the risotto from the heat, add the remaining butter in pieces, and stir it into the rice as it melts. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve the risotto in shallow bowls or on deep plates with a sprinkling of Parmesan. It is best served at once, though it can be kept warm for a few minutes. If necessary, soften it with a little more stock just before serving.

The gf is finally here with me to do her studies, and one of the first things she’s ask her is mushroom risotto. Also she mentioned that she has never tried red wine risotto before and so I decided to make a red wine mushroom risotto for her. So what I have done is to combine my mushroom risotto recipe with this red wine risotto recipe i.e. instead of using white wine, I used red wine instead. The difference between the two is that the red wine risotto is much more robust in terms of flavours.


Cauliflower risotto (risotto ai cavolfiori)

Posted: January 2, 2011 by nietize in Italian, Risotto

From Jamie’s Italy

2 handfuls of stale bread, torn into pieces
1 small tin of anchovies, oil from tin reserved
3 small dried red chillies
extra virgin olive oil
1 cauliflower
1 x risotto bianco
a handful of chopped fresh parsley
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Parmesan cheese, for grating

Whiz the bread in a food processor with the anchovies, the oil from the tin and the chillies. Heat a frying pan with a splash of oil and fry the flavoured breadcrumbs, stirring and tossing constantly until golden brown.

Trim the coarse leaves off the cauliflower and cut out the stalk. Chop the nice inner part of the stalk finely. Start making your risotto bianco, adding the chopped cauliflower stalk to the pan with the onion and celery at Stage 1 (i.e. when you saute the onion and celery). Add the cauliflower florets to your pan of hot stock.

Continue to follow the basic risotto recipe, adding the stock bit by bit until the rice is half cooked. By now the cauliflower florets should be quite soft, so you can start to add them to the risotto with the stock, crushing them into the rice as you go. Continue until the rice is cooked and all the cauliflower has been added.

At Stage 4, when you add the butter and Parmesan, stir in the parsley, taste and season. Sprinkle with the anchovy pangrattato, grate some more Parmesan over the top and serve.

Saffron risotto with bacon and peas

Posted: July 18, 2009 by nietize in Italian, Pork, Risotto
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Not going to provide a full recipe for this. It’s basically the same old risotto recipe. I added a pinch of saffron to the risotto while it’s simmering in the pan. I grilled some bacon and added it with the peas to the risotto when it’s almost done.

Artichoke and bacon risotto

Posted: May 17, 2009 by nietize in Italian, Risotto
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1.2l chicken stock
50g unsalted butter
5 shallots , finely chopped
3 garlic cloves , finely chopped
350g arborio rice
200ml dry white wine
100g bacon, diced
175g marinated artichokes (in olive oil), drained and halved
50g parmesan , grated (reserve 25g/1oz for the garnish)
handful flatleaf parsley , finely chopped

Pour the chicken stock into a large pan and keep on the heat at a gentle simmer.

In another saucepan, add olive oil. Add shallots and garlic and cook until soft, but not brown, then tip in the rice and stir for 1 minute until the rice begins to turn translucent.

Pour in the wine and stir well, then add two handfuls of hot stock and stir until the rice has absorbed almost all of the liquid. Lower the heat and continue to add the stock, a couple of ladles at a time, only adding more when the rice has absorbed each additional of liquid. Continue until all the stock is used up – the risotto should be creamy and the rice tender. Add more stock if needed.

Meanwhile, throw the bacon into a small frying pan and fry until some fat has come out of the sausage, then add the artichokes to the pan and stir to warm through. Remove risotto from the heat, then add chorizo and artichokes.

Stir in butter. Season well and serve with parmesan and parsley.

In just two meals, I have finished up my bottle of artichokes! Anyway, I haven’t cooked risotto for ages so I decided to do it again before I get rusty. This is quite a light risotto, it will be more “summery” if you remove the bacon but as always, I like contrasts in food, and bacon is a good contrast to the artichoke.

From Jamie’s Italy

1.5 litres water
2 small carrots, roughly chopped
3 tomatoes, squashed
1 bay leaf
a small bunch of fresh parsley, one sprig left whole, remaining leaves picked and finely chopped
1.5kg mixed seafood (see above), scaled, cleaned, gutted, with heads and gills removed, mussels debearded
1 x basic risotto recipe
½ a bulb of fennel, finely chopped, herby tops reserved
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
a pinch of crumbled dried chilli
a pinch of saffron strands
extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1 lemon

This risotto is something very special. You will need a mixture of seafood – try red mullet, monkfish, bream, John Dory, cod, mussels, clams, prawns and a little sliced squid. You can either use bought fish stock to make this risotto or you can have a go at making your own, as I do here. (Ask your fishmonger for the fish heads to use in the stock – these usually go into the bin, so you shouldn’t be charged for them). I’m going to make it in a slightly different way to the normal method, where I would fillet the fish before adding the bones and fish-heads to the stock, so bear with me!

Put the exact amount of water into a large pan with the carrots, tomatoes, bay leaf and whole parsley sprig and bring to the boil, adding your whole fish but not your shellfish. Simmer for 10 minutes, then remove each fish from the pan and flake the flesh away from the bones. (If you have a cod head, try to remove the cheeks as they’re the best bit!) Put the meat on a plate to one side; return any bones to the stock to simmer for another 15 minutes max, skimming any froth off the surface every so often. Meanwhile start your basic risotto, adding the fennel, fennel seeds, chilli and saffron to the pan at Stage 1.

Pass the stock through a colander into another pan and throw away the vegetables and bones. Add most of the fish stock to your risotto, keeping a little to finish the dish, and when the rice is nearly cooked towards the end of Stage 3, add your flaked fish and shellfish. After 3 or 4 minutes the shellfish will have opened (discard any that remain closed); then remove from the heat.

As you’re not supposed to mix cheese and fish in pasta or risotto dishes we’re not going to finish it with Parmesan. Instead, at Stage 4, when you add the butter, check the seasoning, drizzle with a lug of extra virgin olive oil and squeeze over the lemon juice. To serve, divide the risotto between your plates, and spoon over the remaining stock. Drizzle with some more extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with the remaining parsley and the reserved fennel tops.

Ok, I didn’t follow all the steps above; I didn’t add any clams and most importantly, I didn’t make the fish stock (it’s from a stock cube although I did put it some prawn heads to give the fish stock an extra bite) But still it turned out pretty well. I think the standard of my risotto is right *there* now… I need to taste the risotto in really good italian restaurants to see how I can improve it. 


Olive crusted red snapper


Extra virgin olive oil
1 large handful of basil
a good squeeze of lemon juice
10 kalamata olives , pitted and roughly chopped
85g fresh breadcrumbs
2 red snapper fillet

Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Mix the lemon juice, olives and basil together with a good swig of extra virgin olive oil, then stir in the breadcrumbs.

Lay the fish fillets on a baking tray, skinside down, then press the crumbs over the surface of each piece. Bake in the oven for 10-12 mins until the fish is cooked through and the crust is crisp and brown.

I think the fish should be grilled for a few minutes to make the crust crisp. Mine wasnt crisp enough. Still the combination works wonderfully well with the fish. I just need a few more tries to perfect this method of cooking fish.

Roasted butternut squash risotto

Posted: February 8, 2009 by nietize in Italian, Pumpkin, Risotto
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First peel the butternut squash and chop it into 2 cm cubes. Pour 2 tbsp of olive oil into a roasting tin and place into preheated oven 190 degrees for minutes. Add the buttersquash and 5 cloves of garlic unpeeled and whole. Roast for 25-30 minutes. Cook 275g of arborio rice in olive oil at high heat for a few seconds. Add a pinch of saffron and 150 ml of white wine and bubble fiercely until the wine has evaporated. Meanwhile heat 1 litre of chicken stock in a separate saucepan and keep it at a steady simmer. Reduce the heat till low, and add the chicken stock ladle by ladle till the rice is cooked. Turn off the heat and stir in 1 tbsp of fresh parsley finely chopped, 1 tbsp of fresh oregano finely chopped, parmesan cheese and seasoning. Cover and leave to stand for 203 minutes. Remove the skins from the roasted garlic, add it to the risotto with the butternut squash and mix gently. Serve with parmesan cheese.

 I like how the natural sweetness of the butternut squash complements the richer flavours of the cheese and saffron.

Saffron prawn risotto

Posted: February 8, 2009 by nietize in Prawns, Risotto
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1/4 tsp saffron threads
Olive oil
2 garlic cloves crushed
3 tbsp chopped parsley
500g prawns
60 ml sherry
60 ml white wine
1.5l fish stock
1 onion chopped 
440g risotto rice

Soak the saffron threads in 60 ml hot water

Heat oil in saucepan. Add garlic parsley and prawns and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes, then add the sherry wine and saffron with the liquid. Remove the prawns with a slotted spoon and set aside. 

Simmer until the liquid has reduced by half. Pour in the stock and 250 ml water, cover and keep at a constant simmer.

In a separate saucepan, heat olive oil. Cook onion for 3 minutes or until golden. Add the rice and stir over medium heat for 3 minutes.

Add 125 ml stock to the rice and stir constantly over low heat until all the liquid has been absorbed. Repeat the process until all the stock has been added and the rice is tender and creamy.

Add the prawns and stir until heated through. Season, then serve.

Ever since I went to Savoy Grill, London and tried the mushroom risotto with a poached egg on top, I have been adding a poached egg to my risottos. Again, the egg complements the saffron prawn risotto well, giving it a smoother taste.

Mushroom risotto

Posted: February 8, 2009 by nietize in Italian, Risotto

I had the most wonderful mushroom risotto at Marcus Wareing at The Savoy. It was rich, full of the taste of mushrooms, yet light: it didn’t feel heavy on the stomach. And of course, as I mentioned in the entry on this restaurant, it had a poached egg on top, an interesting complement to the mushrooms. Well, as you all would expect, I decided to try to make mushroom risotto. This recipe is taken from the BBC website.

1 tbsp dried porcini mushrooms
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
225g/8oz chestnut mushrooms, sliced
350g/12oz arborio rice
150ml/¼ pint dry white wine
1.2 litres/2 pints hot vegetable stock
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
25g/1oz butter
salt and freshly ground black pepper
freshly grated parmesan cheese, to serve

1. Soak the mushrooms in hot water for 10 minutes, then drain well. Heat the oil in a large, heavy based saucepan and add the onion and garlic. Fry over a gentle heat for 2-3 minutes, until softened. Add the mushrooms and fry for a further 2-3 minutes, until browned.
2. Stir in the rice and coat in the oil. Pour in the wine and simmer, stirring, until the liquid has 
been absorbed. Add a ladleful of the stock and simmer, stirring again, until the liquid has been absorbed. Continue adding the stock in this way, until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is plump and tender.
3. Roughly chop the soaked mushrooms and stir into the risotto, along with the parsley, butter and salt and pepper. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

I modified this recipe by pan frying the mushrooms separately and adding it to the risotto near the end of the cooking. In addition, I added bacon to give the risotto a meaty flavour