Sunday, September 11, 2011

Risotto con Piselli (Risotto with Peas)

Copyright 2011 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
I needed a good side dish to serve my Stracotto with and risotto came to mind but I wanted to try something new aside from my usual favorite risotto recipes. This risotto recipe is actually a healthy full meal by itself, flavored with bacon, it incorporates other vegetables and not just peas. The cooking process is slightly different for this risotto since you cook the vegetables into a thick stew before adding the rice. I have made some changes to it as I prefer to add the fresh herds at the very end and since I'm using frozen peas, I also prefer to add them at the very last minute. 

The recipe is from Sophia Loren's cookbook and is something I'm glad I tried. One thing you will need though is a vegetable slicer that allows you to make paper thin slices. Zucchini is a major part of the dish but in paper thin thickness, they blend quite well into the dish without overpowering it in terms of flavor or texture. 

*Risotto con Piselli - Adapted

3 oz bacon, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1/2 tsp dried tsp basil
1 lb fresh or canned diced tomatoes
2 medium zucchini, sliced thinly
1 cup frozen peas
1 1/2 cup Arborio rice
Salt and pepper
2-4 cups chicken broth
Parmegiano Reggiano, grated
olive oil

1. Brown the bacon in a deep sauce pan over medium heat. Add the onion 
    and carrots and cook for about 5 minutes. 

2. Add the tomatoes and stir until it slightly thickens. Add the zucchini and 
    cook down until the liquid has almost evaporated. 

3. Add the rice and cook according to risotto basics, gradually ladling in the 
    broth until the rice is tender. 

4. Add the herbs and the frozen peas at the last addition of the broth. check 
    for flavor and season with salt and pepper. 

5. Sprinkle with the cheese and drizzle with olive oil prior to serving.

*Loren, Sophia. Sophia Loren's Recipes and Memories. GT Publishing Corp. New York:1998

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