Risotto all’affumicata

Risotto all'affumicata

The full and delicious taste of this risotto will undoubtedly warm your heart and soul. In this recipe the smoked pancetta is combined with another smoked item, Provola affumicata cheese from Southern Italy’s Campania region. Smoking is actually a process to preserve, flavor and cook food by exposing it to smoke from wood or other burning or smouldering materials. Different types of meat, like pancetta, and fish are the most common smoked foods, although cheese and vegetables can be smoked, too. Smokehouse temperatures for cold smoking are typically between 20-30 C/68-86 F. Cold smoking can be simply used as a flavor enhancer because the food is smoked just long enough to give it some flavor, and the foods are still cooked, either by baking, grilling, roasting, or sautéing, before eating.

Ingredients:

olive oil

1 onion, sliced

3-4 garlic cloves, minced

100 gr/ 3.5 oz smoked pancetta, in cubes

2.5 dl/ 1 cup risotto rice

1 liter/ 4 cups vegetable stock

80 gr/ 3 oz smoked Provola affumicata cheese, thinly sliced

250 gr/ 9 oz champignon mushrooms, sliced

salt and peper to taste

Risotto all'affumicata

Instructions:

Heat olive oil in a saucepan. Saute the smoked pancetta, onion and garlic for a few minutes until the onion softens and becomes golden. Add the risotto rice and continue frying until the grains become glassy. Little by little, pour some vegetable stock into the pan. Keep stirring. After about 15 minutes the risotto rice is cooked al dente. Add the sliced smoked cheese and mix well.

Meanwhile, saute the mushrooms lightly in a pan until they release their juices. Season with salt and pepper.

Mix the risotto rice without cooking it any further with the mushrooms. Serve each plate immediately with a pinch of ground black pepper.

Spiedini

new thingnew thing

While we anxiously await the start of the spring and summer season, we can already enjoy some of the fresh produce of the upcoming period. These grill sticks – spiedini in Italian – are delicious and fast to prepare, and fresh vegetables, like zucchini, bell pepper, eggplant and mushrooms are excellent options for grilling. Chicken and pork are the best meats, but because of chicken’s somewhat dry nature, it is best to wrap it in pancetta first. Vegetarians can replace the meat with tofu for equally yummy results.

Ingredients: 

2 chicken fillet, cut into cubes

100 gr/ 3.5 oz pancetta

1 zucchini

200 gr/ 7 oz mushrooms

salt and pepper to taste

olive oil for frying

Instructions: 

Cut the chicken fillets into cubes and slice the zucchini and the mushrooms. Wrap a piece of pancetta around each chicken cube. Arrange the sliced vegetables and the wrapped chicken cubes on the grill sticks. Fry them on a low heat until the chicken is tender and the vegetables have softened and released their juices. Serve with Italian bread, like schiacciata.

Spaghetti alla carbonara

Spaghetti alla carbonara is known all over the world, but the origin, like with most recipes, is unknown. Some suggest that it was created as a hearty meal for Italian charcoal workers, but most likely it is just an urban dish from Rome created sometime after World War II. Some European and U.S. versions of this recipe contain cream and vegetables, but in Rome it is made with guanciale (pig’s jowl), raw eggs and cheese. Guanciale can be replaced with pancetta or bacon, and alternatively you can also serve carbonara with bucatini, mezze rigatoni or mezze maniche. Hard and crumbly Pecorino Romano cheese, together with Parmigiano, creates an authentic experience.

Ingredients:

butter or oil for frying

100 gr guanciale, diced

3-4 garlic cloves

spaghetti

2 eggs, beaten

freshly grated Parmigiano

freshly grated Pecorino Romano

salt and pepper

Instructions:

Melt the butter in a pan. Add the diced guanciale and garlic and fry until the garlic turns brown. Remove and discard the garlic.

Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti al dente in a pot of salted boiling water, drain and add to the fried guanciale. Remove the pan from the heat, pour in the eggs, season with salt and pepper and add Parmigiano and Pecorino. Mix well so that the egg coats the pasta and serve.