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.

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Risotto all’ortolana

Risotto is essentially a peasant dish and, as such, it is one of the world’s most satisfying comfort foods. But because it absorbs many tastes and flavors, risotto can be served as a very refined and sophisticated dish, too. This hearty and peasantlike version showcases the rural, and very healthy, side. The abundance of the beans, peas, and other vegetables make it very rich in folate, iron, manganese and dietary fiber – all nutrients that can benefit your health in a variety of ways. After spending some time with the knife work you will have a dish that is at the same time fresh, creamy and light. The ingredients can be easily substituted with other vegetables, depending on what is in season and readily available. But don’t forget to try the creamy and buttery fava bean, it will add its own special taste and texture to the mix.

Risotto all' ortolanaIngredients:

300 gr/ 10 oz fava a.k.a. broad beans

260 gr/ 9 oz  fresh tomatoes, sliced

100 gr/ 3.5 oz frozen peas

3 dl/ 1 1/3 cups risotto rice (Carnaroli)

olive oil

2 stalks of celery, sliced

2 carrots, sliced

1 zucchine, sliced

1 onion, sliced

fresh flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

salt and pepper

1 liter / 4 1/3 cups vegetable stock

140 gr/ 5 oz smoked pancetta, in cubes (optional)

freshly grated parmigiano

a couple of fresh basil leaves

Instructions: 

Heat olive oil in a pan and saute the onion, celery and carrots until the vegetables soften a bit. Add the cubed pancetta and continue frying for a few minutes.

Add the tomatoes, fava beans and the zucchini and keep cooking for about 10 minutes. Then, add the frozen peas with some fresh parsley and cook for further 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the risotto rice and continue frying until the grains become glassy. Little by little, pour some vegetable stock and keep stirring. For Carnaroli rice it takes about 15 minutes to be al dente. Serve each plate with a couple of spoonfuls of parmigiano and fresh flat leaf parsley. Garnish with some basil leaves.

Risotto all' ortolana

Risi e bisi

Risi e bisi

In its heyday, the powerful maritime state of Venice had contacts with both the inland and diverse and faraway counties and cultures. Therefore the culinary tradition of the city is full of outside influences. Baccalà (dried salted cod) is of Baltic origin, and various spices, black pepper in particular, were very important imports from Asia. The roots of risi e bisi (rice with peas) are in the Arabic world. Soon after its introduction, rice became an integral part of the local cuisine. No one really knows if this dish is a risotto or a soup – the jury is still out on that. But it is, nonetheless, an excellent and nutritious dish to be had especially when fresh peas are in season. This particular recipe interprets risi e bisi more as a risotto, and it is prepared with ham blocks and white rice. Parmigiano gives it a finishing touch.

Ingredients: 

white rice

olive oil

3 shallots, sliced

250 gr/ 8 2/3 oz peas

100 gr/ 3.5 oz ham blocks

salt and pepper to taste

freshly grated Parmigiano

Risi e bisi

Instructions: 

Cook the rice in a pot filled with salted boiling water. Drain and set aside, but keep it warm.

Heat olive oil in pan and saute the shallots lightly until they soften. Add the ham blocks and the peas and cook further for 10-15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Mix the rice together with the peas and ham and the freshly grated Parmigiano. Serve immediately.

Risotto gamberetti e zucchine

Carnaroli rice – nicknamed ‘the caviar of rice’ – is grown in the Italian towns of Novara and Vercelli, located between Milan and Turin. Carnaroli is traditionally used for making risotto, differing from the more common Arborio rice due to its higher starch content and firmer texture. Carnaroli keeps its shape better than other types of rice in the slow cooking process, making for a more textured dish. The extra starch in the Carnaroli rice is responsible for the creaminess of the risotto, so it is important not to wash the rice grains before cooking them. In this particular dish, the chili flakes add a welcome punch to the creaminess of the rice and the onion, and the bite-size zucchini slices should remain firm while the inside is soft, hot and juicy.

Risotto gamberetti e zucchine

Ingredients: 

olive oil

500 gr/ 1 pound large cooked and peeled shrimp

2.5 dl/ 1 cup dry white wine

3-5 cloves of garlic, minced

1 onion, minced

2.5 dl/ 1 cup risotto rice (Carnaroli)

5 dl/ 2 cups vegetable stock

1 zucchini, sliced

1 tsp dry chili flakes

fresh flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

Instructions: 

Heat olive oil in a pan and saute the large shrimp lightly together with minced garlic and white wine. Set aside but keep the juices the shrimp have released.

Heat olive oil in a saucepan. Saute the minced 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 and liquid from the pan you used to fry the shrimp. Keep stirring. Add the zucchini slices when the risotto is nearly ready. For Carnaroli rice it takes about 15 minutes to be al dente. At this point, add the already sauteed shrimp and mix without cooking any further. Season with chili flakes and sprinkle flat leaf parsley on each plate.

Risotto gamberetti e zucchine

Risotto ai funghi misti

The Italian cuisine can be best described with the following three words: fresh, regional, and seasonal. Fresh, because only the best and freshest ingredients are ever used. Regional, because every region in Italy has its own distinctly different cuisine with favorite ingredients and cooking methods. And seasonal, because people cook with the best available ingredients in season. So, in the spirit of authenticity, this recipe calls for a mix of seasonal mushrooms. You can use any combination of edible mushrooms from chantarelles to porcini, or oyster mushrooms to shiitake. Commercially sold mushrooms are usually grown in a sterile environment, so rather than washing them you only need to brush away any clinging soil. Don’t peel the mushrooms, because they would lose most of their flavor.

Risotto ai funghi misti

Ingredients: 

200 gr/ 7 oz seasonal mushrooms, sliced

salt and pepper to taste

olive oil

1 onion, sliced

3-5 garlic cloves, minced

2.5 dl/ 1 cup risotto rice

5 dl/ 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock

1.5 dl/ 2/3 cup dry white wine

1 dl/ 0.4 cup cream

freshly grated parmigiano

fresh thyme

Instructions: 

Saute the mushroom lightly in a pan until they release their juices. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Heat olive oil in a saucepan. Saute the 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 chicken stock and wine into the pan. Keep stirring. After about 15 minutes the risotto rice is cooked al dente. At this point, add the already fried mushrooms, the cream, parmigiano and fresh thyme. Mix without cooking any further. Sprinkle freshly grated parmigiano and thyme on each plate.

Risotto ai funghi misti

Kedgeree risotto

Happy New Year 2013!!! May your year be filled with beautiful food!

Kedgeree risotto

If you are a fan of Downton Abbey – and these days, who isn’t – you might have noticed that in the pilot Mrs. Patmore offered Lord Grantham some kedgeree for breakfast. This dish was brought to England by returning colonialists who had enjoyed Khichri, a dish with rice and spiced pulses, back in India. Anglo-Indian fusion cuisine was popular in Victorian times, and in this dish you can really feel the Indian influence. But the fish and the hard-boiled eggs were a British introduction. This time I made the kedgeree as a risotto, but the typical ingredients of a kedgeree – rice, fish, curry powder and parsley – are still there. And it works!

Ingredients:

olive oil

1 tsp curry powder

0.5 tsp turmeric

1 onion

3-4 garlic cloves

3 dl risotto rice

6-8 dl vegetable stock

200 gr peas

400 gr cold smoked salmon, sliced

Garnish:

fresh parsley, chopped

per plate 1 hard-boiled egg, cut in 4

Instructions:Kedgeree risotto

Heat olive oil in a saucepan. Sauté the onion and garlic together with the spices 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 is rice is cooked al dente. At this point, add the peas and the fish slices and stir lightly. Garnish each plate with fresh parsley and egg. Serve as a dinner or lunch, or if you are a purist, as a breakfast dish.

Risotto con gamberetti, zucchine e pomodorini

Shrimp, zucchini and cherry tomatoes – ingredients favored by Southern Italy’s Campania region. This yummy risotto is full of flavor and will reward those who have the patience to let the shrimp marinade for several hours, preferably overnight. Invest some money for good shrimp, and more importantly, for good risotto rice like Arborio or Carnaroli.

Ingredients: 

Marinade:

1.5 dl dry white wine

3-4 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tbsp lemon

flat leaf parsley, chopped

500 gr cooked and peeled large shrimp

Risotto:

olive oil

1 onion

3-4 cloves of garlic

2.5 dl risotto rice

5 dl fish stock

1 dl dry white wine

250 gr cherry tomatoes

1 zucchini, sliced

Instructions:

Marinade: Mix the ingredients for the marinade. Add the cooked and peeled shrimp. Mix well and let the mixture marinade in the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight. Stir occasionally.

Risotto: Heat the olive oil in a pan. Saute the onion and garlic for a couple of minutes. Add the rice and continue frying until the rice grains have a glassy color. Add cooking liquids (fish stock, some marinade and cooking liquid of the shrimp) when needed. In a separate pan, saute the zucchini slices lightly. Fry the large shrimps in olive oil until they are soft, but somewhat chewy inside. Add the cherry tomatoes, lightly fried zucchini slices and the sauteed shrimp when the risotto is cooked al dente after ca. 15 minutes. Mix and serve immediately.