Thursday, August 14, 2008

Recipe Review: Red Wine Risotto

Somehow the extra booze from the wedding (particularly a large open bottle of red wine) and the general lack of fresh groceries combined into a perfect storm of risotto yesterday. After furiously flipping through my well-loved risotto cookbook, I found several recipes which involved red wine, one of which I could in fact make with ingredients I pretty much had on hand. I did have to go out to buy a red onion, but that was okay, as it could sit in the car while I ran my other errands (dropping off the marriage license at the county clerk's office).

Red Wine Risotto
from Risotto: With vegetables, seafood, meat, and more by Maxine Clark (recipe slightly condensed, as I am tired)

- about 6 c. hot chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- 1 small carrot, finely chopped
- 1 small celery stick, finely chopped
- 3 T. pancetta or prosciutto, finely chopped (optional) (I used bacon)
- 2 1/3 c. risotto rice
- 1 1/4 c. full-bodied red wine
- 1 1/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- salt & pepper
- chopped fresh parsley, to serve

1. Put the broth in a saucepan & keep at a simmer.

2. Melt half the butter in a large saucepan, then add the onion, carrot, and celery and cook until transluscent.

3. Add the pancetta & cook for another 2 minutes. (I just added bacon I cooked separately.)

4. Add rice and stir until well coated & heated through.

5. Pour in wine & boil hard until reduced by half.

6. Add broth a ladle at a time, keeping the rice as a simmer & adding more broth before it dries out. Repeat until rice is creamy but still al dente (15-20 minutes).

7. Season with salt & pepper, then mix in Parmesan and remaining butter. Cover and let rest, then serve sprinkled with parsley.

Needless to say, this risotto was pleasant enough that I wanted to share the recipe with you. As R put it, it was not the very best risotto we ever had, but it was still good.

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