This dismal winter weather that is setting in, makes me crave comfort food!
And what better comfort food is there…than Italian!!! The cheese & carb combinations of this wonderful country make me smile 🙂 From Pizza to Pasta to Risotto (to name a few) – this cuisine choice has flavour written all over it! Taking simple (but good) ingredients and turning them into a bowl of YUM!
I re-created (& adapted) Francesco Mazzei recipe that was in the Delicious Magazine – by replacing the prosecco with white wine (it was wine from Puglia that we had bought from Olivetus – so I knew it was still QUALITY!). And I used Arborio instead of carnaroli rice.
Arborio: is the most widely available risotto rice, typically wider & longer, & not as starchy . But the downside is that it absorbs liquid a little less well.
Carnaroli: Variously hailed as the “king” or the “caviar” of all Italian rice. It’s said to produce the creamiest risotto, yet it’s more resistant to overcooking than arborio. Normally available in specialty shops.
Would I make it again? yes… it is full of flavour – doesn’t require a lot of work & is ready in less than 30min. It does however require your full attention during this time – as stirring and slowly ladling in stock is essential!
350g Arborio Rice
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
125ml white wine
800ml-1l stock (if you use chicken stock like I did – this is obviously no longer vegetarian)
30g parmesan – grated
1 tablespoon fresh herbs, chopped
- Trim the tips of the asparagus off & place to one side
- finely slice the stems
- Heat a large pan with the dry rice – until gently warm, stirring – do not let it brown
- In a large pot, heat oil & 5g of butter – fry onion for 4-5min until soft
- Add warm rice – stirring until translucent
- Add white wine & boil to evaporate alcohol
- Add stock – one ladle at a time – stirring continuously.
- Only adding the next ladle of stock when the previous one has been absorbed
- after 10min – add asparagus stems
- In another pan, heat 5g butter & little olive oil & fry asparagus tips with a grating of nutmeg until tender
- When rice is done, switch off the pot, place a lid on top & leave to rest for 5-10minutes
- Add rest of the butter, parmesan & herbs & give one more stir
- Serve topped with the asparagus and little bit more parmesan (because no one said no to a bit more cheese – right?)