Thursday, December 1, 2011

Risotto Three Ways

Cooking My Way Through Jamie Oliver's Food Writings

Recipe 7            RISOTTO BIANCO

Jamie's basic risotto recipe, Risotto Bianco, gives you the basis for one of the most versatile dishes, and being considered a fast food in Italy they are quite simply made, then dressed up with whatever local fresh meat or produce is found in the market.  To be honest, I learned how to make risotto on the back of an arborio rice package several years ago, and while that method worked fine the flavor of Jamie's recipe has made it a tried and true recipe in my kitchen.  Here is the recipe for Risotto Bianco or White Risotto along with a few variations demonstrated in Jamie's Italy.  Remember these are just a couple of the many ways this can be dressed up and flavored for example, try my version of LINK Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto with Toasted Walnuts


one risotto bianco (LINK)
one butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
½ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp dried sage
olive oil
½ cup walnuts, toasted in a dry pan
salt and freshly ground black pepper
pecorino for topping

Preheat oven to 400-degrees. 

In a roasting pan toss butternut squash chunks with nutmeg, sage, salt, pepper and just enough olive oil to evenly coat, then roast until tender about 20 to 25 minutes.  Once cooked remove from oven and allow cooling slightly, then tossing together and topping each portion of risotto evenly sprinkling with pecorino. with toasted walnuts.  Risotto isn't a dish to be intimidated by, it is one to be enjoyed.


4 cups stock
2 tbsp olive oil
5 tbsp unsalted butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 gloves of garlic, minced
1 cups risotto
2 wineglasses of dry vermouth or white wine
4 oz. freshly grated parmesan cheese
salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat stock in a sauce pan and in a separate pan, heat olive oil and three tablespoons of butter, add the onion, garlic and celery sauteing slowly on medium low until tender.  Once the vegetables have softened, turn up to heat to medium, add the arborio rice and toast until fragrant continually stirring.

2. When the rice becomes translucent, add the vermouth or wine, keep stirring allowing the alcohol to evaporate and cook into the rice.

3. Once the rice has soaked up all of the alcohol, continually stirring, add your first ladle of stock and a good pinch of salt to season.  Adjust the heat to a simmer to avoid the rice cooking too quickly.  As the rice absorbs the stock keep adding ladles and slowly stirring to allow the starches to expel resulting in the rice becoming creamy and rich.  As this happens taste the rice checking the texture, you want it to be cooked through but, not mushy.  Keep adding ladle fulls of stock as they absorb into the rice until fully cooked.

4. Remove the risotto from the heat, add the grated parmesan and remaining butter stirring well, then cover and allow the risotto to sit a few minutes before serving.

risotto bianco con pesto
White Risotto with Pesto

For this recipe; simply make your risotto bianco and top with Jamie's Pesto.

risotto ai funghi e prezzemolo
Roasted Mushroom Risotto with Parsley


one risotto bianco
about 1 cup of wild mushrooms, cleaned and torn
one bulb of garlic cloves, peeled and halved
a small bunch of fresh thyme
1 tbsp butter
a small bunch of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
one lemon
parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400-degrees

Start making your risotto bianco, when you come to stage three in an oven proof pan, saute the mushrooms in olive oil then toss with the garlic and thyme and roast about 6 minutes.  Once the risotto bianco has set, stir in the parsley, roughly chop the mushrooms and sprinkle on top, squeeze a little lemon juice and give a final grating of parmesan.  Serve immediately. 

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