Basically, there is red risotto and white risotto. The red variety mostly contains tomatoes and bold flavors, whereas the white one goes better with more subtle flavors like mushrooms, asparagus and such. But as you might suspect, I like going for the intense flavors, so I took a classic recipe for Risotto alla Milanese and spiced it up a bit with chilies and peas.
This was on a evening shortly after my foot got operated on, so going shopping for groceries was out of the question. So risotto is once again a nice way of getting a nice meal out of the rests in your fridge and freezer.
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, sliced
1 large onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 cup rice
1 cup / 250 ml white wine
2 cups / 500 ml stock (beef, chicken or vegetable, whatever you prefer)
a pinch of saffron
1 cup frozen peas
50 g / 2 tablespoons butter
1 cup grated Parmesan
salt and pepper
Get all your ingredients ready, slice up the chilis, the onion and the garlic.
Heat up a wide pot on low, pour in the olive oil and let the chilies, garlic and onion get some color. If you have onions, that is. I did not have any on that evening, but it tastes definitively better with onions.
Get in the rice and stir it in the oil until everything is covered.
Then get in the wine and the stock. In my opinion, there is no need for that tedious method of endless stirring and adding the liquid bit by bit. Just get it all in and stir every couple of minutes. This should take about 20 minutes, maybe more.
Throw in the saffron to give the risotto a good taste and a nice yellow color.
To get in a little more color, add a cup of frozen peas.
When the rice is cooked done, that is no more hard bits, but not mushy either, throw in a slice of butter. Then stir until all the butter is melted. You will see how creamy it gets just by adding the butter.
This is the key ingredient – Parmesan. This will give you a rich, creamy texture and some real complex flavors. I love Parmesan.
OK, in with the cheese and again, stir until everything is melted. Now, give it a taste if the risotto still needs some salt, add some fresh pepper and you’re good to go!
Serve with some more Parmesan and maybe a little bit of pesto (thinned with olive oil) drizzled on.