Cooking Rice with an Italian Accent! (5 page)

RECOMMENDED WINES:

ALBANA DI ROMAGNA, PINOT NOIR/NERO

 

Risotto alla Moda Dalamata

(DALMATIAN-STYLE RISOTTO)

SERVES 4

Dalmatia in the former Yugoslavia was once an integral territory of the Kingdom of Italy. It lies directly across the Italian peninsula on the Adriatic Sea. Ethnically, the Dalmatian people are Slavic, but their culture and cuisine are heavily influenced by Italy. I sampled this risotto in an Italian restaurant in the fascinating city of Dubrovnik.

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons butter

1 small onion, minced

4 ounces lean beef, julienned

1 sweet Italian sausage, skinned and crumbled

4 ounces lean veal, julienned

Pinch salt

½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

1 shot plum brandy or cognac

15 ounces long-grain rice

1½ quarts boiling hot beef stock

½ teaspoon dry rosemary, crushed

In a large saucepan, heat one tablespoon butter and oil on moderate heat. Sauté onion five minutes. Add beef and sausage. Stir and sauté for ten minutes. Add veal and cook another fifteen minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir and add brandy. Add rice, stir, and cook for three minutes. Add hot broth, cup by cup, stirring constantly, until rice absorbs all of the liquid (about eighteen minutes). Remove from heat. Mix in remaining tablespoon of butter and rosemary. Transfer to serving bowl and bring to table.

RECOMMENDED WINES:

REFOSCO, PRIMITIVO

 

Risotto con Fave e Bietole

(FAVA BEAN AND BEET RISOTTO)

SERVES 4

I first tasted this hearty risotto on a cold, foggy day in Brescia (the birthplace of Pope Paul VI) in the region of Lombardy. It was very tasty and helped ward off the chill of the day.

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon white lard or fatback, minced (may be omitted)

1 large white onion, thinly sliced

1 16-ounce can or jar of small beets packed in water, drained, washed under cold running water, and dried

5 ounces of jarred or canned fava or broad beans, drained and dried

Salt and pepper

1½ cups Arborio rice

½ cup dry white wine or dry vermouth

1 quart boiling hot chicken stock

1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

1 heaping tablespoon of Pecorino Romano cheese

Heat oil, butter, and lard (if using it) in a large saucepan on gentle heat. Sauté onion five minutes. Add the beets, fava beans, season with salt and pepper and stir. Add the rice and stir three minutes. Add wine, adjust heat to high, and cook until wine evaporates (about three to five minutes). Return heat to moderate. Add boiling hot broth, cup by cup, constantly stirring with wooden spoon, until rice absorbs all the liquid (about eighteen minutes). Sprinkle with grated cheese. Mix well and transfer to deep serving bowl.
Mangia, è molto buono!
(Eat, it's very good!)

RECOMMENDED WINES:

BARBERA, BONARDA/NEBBIOLO BLEND

 

Risotto del Boscaiolo

(WOODMAN'S RISOTTO)

SERVES 4

Boscaiolo
means woodsman, a man who makes his living off the products of the forests of Italy: raw lumber, forest animals, and of course the wild, earthy mushrooms that are gathered from the decaying debris of the forest floors. Whenever an Italian recipe is named
boscaiolo,
you can be sure it is full of succulent mushrooms. This risotto is redolent of wild mushrooms and is mouthwatering to any fungiphile (mushroom lover).

2 tablespoons butter

1 medium onion, minced

1 large peeled clove garlic, minced

2 ounces mortadella or boiled ham, julienned

10 ounces ordinary white mushrooms, sliced

1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in hot water for ½ hour, drained, washed, and chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

1½ cups Arborio rice

½ cup dry white wine or dry vermouth

1 quart boiling hot beef broth

2 tablespoons light cream

½ cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

Pinch of marjoram (½ teaspoon)

2 tablespoons grated Gruyère or Swiss cheese

In a large saucepan, sauté onion and garlic in butter on moderate heat for five minutes. Add mortadella or ham, stir and cook for two minutes. Add sliced white mushrooms. Sauté on high heat for three minutes, lower heat to gentle and add chopped porcini mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. Stir. Add rice and stir for three minutes. Add wine and cook until it evaporates. Add hot broth, cup by cup, until rice absorbs all the liquid (about eighteen minutes of constant stirring). Add cream, cheese, parsley, and marjoram. Stir vigorously. Remove from heat. Let rest covered for two minutes. Transfer to serving bowl and bring to the table. Italians prefer not to sprinkle with grated cheese.

RECOMMENDED WINES:

CHIANTI CLASSICO, VINO NOBILE DI MONTEPULCIANO

 

Risotto con Lattuga

(RISOTTO WITH LETTUCE)

SERVES 4

This recipe comes from Fulvia Sessani of Venice, Italy. This is a very rich dish indeed because of the cream and eggs. But once in a while we all need a respite from retreating from animal fat and avoiding cholesterol. Splurge and enjoy!

4 tablespoons butter

1 small onion, peeled and thinly sliced

1 pound Arborio rice

2
⁄
3
cup dry white wine or dry vermouth

1 quart simmering stock (chicken or beef)

1 head romaine lettuce, thinly sliced

2
⁄
3
cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

½ cup light cream

2 egg yolks

Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the onion, then sauté until transparent. Add the rice and stir until it gets shiny. On a high heat, add the wine and stir until it evaporates. Next, on moderate heat, add the broth a little at a time, and stir constantly.

After about ten minutes add the lettuce and cook, stirring, for ten minutes more, until most of the liquid is absorbed by the rice. Add the cream and the yolks, whisk in, and serve.

RECOMMENDED WINES:

SOAVE, SAUVIGNON BLANC

 

Risotto ai Funghi Marinati Nello Spumante

(MUSHROOMS MARINATED IN DRY CHAMPAGNE RISOTTO)

SERVES 4

Now this is an impressive risotto that should be served at New Year's Eve dinner. Let everyone else have their prime ribs au jus and mashed potatoes. You serve something very special and your guests will make a New Year's resolution to make this risotto for the people they love. Of course, you must serve the risotto with glasses of chilled champagne.

1 pound cultivated white mushrooms (crimini, if you're splurging); 2 days before you make this risotto, wipe the mushrooms clean. Slice them not too thinly. Put them in a plastic food container with a tight fitting lid. Cover with champagne 1 inch over the tops of the mushrooms. Snap on the lid and refrigerate for the 2 days.

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 large clove of peeled garlic, whole

1 large jalapeño pepper (split lengthwise, seeded and ribbed—but be sure to use rubber gloves!)

1½ cups Arborio rice

1½ quarts boiling hot beef stock

1 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

1 tablespoon butter

4 heaping tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oil in a large saucepan over moderate heat. Drain the mushrooms, reserving the liquid. Sauté garlic and hot pepper until garlic is very brown. Remove garlic and hot pepper. Add drained, marinated mushrooms and cook them on low heat until they are almost dry. Add rice and stir three minutes. Add reserved champagne marinade and reduce it to three quarters of its volume. Add hot broth, cup by cup, until rice almost absorbs all the liquid, stirring constantly—about eighteen minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in parsley and butter. Add grated cheese. Stir well. Transfer to warmed serving bowl and bring to table. Pop the cork off your best champagne.
Salute. Buon appetito!
(To your health and good appetite!)

 

Risotto Primavera

(SPRINGTIME RISOTTO)

SERVES 4

Obviously this risotto is prepared with tender springtime veggies. It is very nourishing and substantial. I sampled this recipe one Easter season I spent in Italy, and of course had to get the recipe. I'm glad I did. Now I can share it with you.

1 medium onion, coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 ounces Italian sweet sausage, skinned and crumbled

1 artichoke, peel off outer leaves, pare to the heart, and julienne

7 ounces shelled peas, fresh or frozen (fully thawed)

2 small carrots, peeled and diced small

Salt and pepper to taste

1½ cups Arborio rice

1 quart boiling hot beef stock

1 tablespoon butter

¼ cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

In a large saucepan, sauté onion in olive oil on moderate heat for five minutes. Add sausage and cook for five minutes. Add artichoke, peas, carrots, and seasoning. Cook, stirring, for five minutes. Add rice and stir for three minutes. Add the hot beef stock all at one time. Stir for eighteen minutes. Stir in butter, sprinkle with parsley and grated cheese. Cover and let rest for two minutes. Pour into serving bowl and bring to table.

RECOMMENDED WINES:

CIRÒ CLASSICO, MONTEPULCIANO D'ABRUZZO

 

Risotto con Rognoni

(VEAL KIDNEY RISOTTO)

SERVES 4

Most Americans avoid organ meats such as kidneys, liver, heart, brains, and sweetbreads. Europeans eat them heartily and consider them delicacies. Be brave! Try this dish and you may change your mind. If you're not brave, substitute Italian sausage for the kidneys.

5 ounces veal kidneys, sliced thinly, or

5 ounces Italian sweet sausage, skinned and crumbled, browned well and drained

½ celery rib, minced

1 small onion, minced

1 ounce pancetta or regular bacon

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 small red bell pepper, seeded, pith removed, and julienned

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons butter

1½ cups Arborio rice

½ cup dry white wine

3 tablespoons shelled peas, fresh or frozen

1 quart beef stock, very hot

1 small package saffron (Badia brand is great and only costs about $2.49)

¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

In a small nonstick skillet, sauté the kidneys on high heat until they release their liquid and are dry. Wash in warm water, and dry them with paper towels (skip the previous step if using sausage). Set aside. In a large saucepan, place celery, onion, pancetta, oil, and red bell pepper. Cook on gentle heat until everything begins to brown (about eight minutes). Stir in the slices of kidney or sausage. Cook for ten minutes, add salt and pepper, and one tablespoon of butter. Add rice and continuously stir for five minutes. Add wine, adjust heat to moderate, and cook until wine evaporates. Add the peas, stir, and begin to add the broth, a cup at a time, until the rice absorbs most of the liquid. After ten minutes of cooking and stirring, add saffron dissolved in two tablespoons of the hot broth. When twenty minutes have elapsed, the risotto will be ready. Add the rest of the butter and grated cheese. Cover and let rest for two minutes. Pour into a deep serving dish and bring to table.

RECOMMENDED WINES:

BARBERA D'ASTI, BARBARESCO

 

Risotto con Carciofi e Noci

Other books

Her Rugged Rancher by Stella Bagwell
The Butcher of Anderson Station by James S. A. Corey
Barred by Walker, Paisley
Dido and Pa by Aiken, Joan
Lethal Instincts by Kasia Radzka
Steamed 4 (Steamed #4) by Nella Tyler
A Thief in the Night by Stephen Wade