“Rice borns in water and dies in wine”. I wrote in my first book: ©Come Mia Nonna – A Return To Simplicity. Let’s start the year with something delicious: Saffron Risotto.
Risotto is a staple food for most of us Italians. It is not a fancy specialty as it might be in foreign countries. Arborio or Cannaroli type of rice, stubby, high starch content, is the type of rice needed to get the right creaminess in a risotto. Toast it in olive oil and a dollop of butter, softens with white wine, add all the ingredients and cook it slowly by adding a few ladles of warm broth at a time until juices are consumed, and rice is cooked to a perfect cream. Some people make it sound so difficult, instead it is the easiest food to prepare in 20 minutes or less. I like to add saffron to get a wonderful a yellow color.
Improvising many other dishes with leftover food from the simple risotto, it’s easy and the possibilities are endless: muffins, rice frittata, rice ramekins, rice torte, just to name a few. They are ideal for parties, make them fresh, don’t serve leftover food to your guests..
Risotto with mushroom: Cook the rice as mentioned above. In a skillet cook the mushroom. At high heat and 1/2 glass of water cook mushrooms only to let water out, then discard it, it would be bitter if you use that liquid. Add garlic and ginger in olive oil, bring the mushroom to the skillet, let them saute’ and marry together about 10 minutes, season with salt, pepper and parsley. Serve with the risotto mixed in or as two separate entity as in my photo (above).
Risotto muffins with asparagus. Cook the rice as mentioned above, or if you like to take short cuts use the Mahatma Yellow Rice. It’s not the same thing as making your own risotto, but it saves time, 10 minutes and it is ready. While this is going, prepare asparagus as you like. I brush them with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper, then grill them. After the rice is done, cut the asparagus in small pieces, mix in the rice, add one egg and Parmigiano cheese, fill a non-stick muffin pans with this mixture, sprinkle Parmigiano cheese on top and bake at 375ᴼF until golden brown. Serve on a bed of mixed greens as in my photo (below).
Risotto Muffins with veggie and meat. Mix in the risotto some leftover veggie, ground meat, one egg, spices, season to your liking, fill paper cup cakes, drop them in the muffin pan and get a new taste. Bake at 375ᴼF until golden brown. (Photo below).
Risotto Squash Ramekins (single portions). In the oven, roast a butternut squash seasoned with salt, pepper, thyme, sage and olive oil. When done, scrape the pulp off the squash shell and mix it with the risotto. Butter and fill ramekins with the mixture, sprinkle Parmigiano cheese and breadcrumbs. Bake at 375ᴼF until golden at the top. (Photo below).
Remember, all the ingredients are already cooked, it is only matter of marrying them together the second time when you have leftovers. Give a leftover an intriguing new taste. This is very easy, promise! Ciao,
Copyright © 2017 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved
Valentina Cirasola is the designer who cooks. She has a deep interest in food that led her as an autodidact in the studies of food in history, natural remedies, nutrition, well-being and learning food of the world. She wrote two books on Italian regional cuisine and one book on color theory, in which she included one recipe for each color. Robert Taitano, a friend and business associate of http://www.wine-fi.com says: “Valentina – an International Professional Interior Designer is now giving you an opportunity to redesign your palate”. Get your copy of Valentina’s books on