Thursday, November 10, 2011

Risotto with Peas and Pecorino

Good risotto is easy to make, but it takes time. This one takes about 40 minutes, 10 minutes for prep and 30 for cooking. This isn't something you want to make for dinner parties or when you have a toddler running around the house wreaking havoc because you have to watch over it and constantly stir. The stirring can actually be very soothing though, especially when you have a glass of wine in the other hand.

The key to making risotto is to use arborio rice and then add chicken broth, a cupful at a time, until the rice is creamy but with a slight bite. I also like to add white or red wine, but you could use extra chicken broth. This risotto has peas and pecorino romano cheese for flavor but you could substitute parmesan if needed. Also, risotto is best eaten immediately after cooking when it is still creamy and hot. It will get sticky after refrigeration but there is a solution...risotto cakes. That recipe will be coming soon. 

If you have never tried risotto before, then give it a try. It is definitely one of my favorite comfort foods and the flavor possibilities are endless. 

Risotto with Peas and Pecorino
Servings: about 6

6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 large yellow onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
3/4 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio
2/3 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/2 cup freshly grated pecorino romano or parmesan cheese

In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken broth to a simmer over medium heat. Keep the broth simmering over low heat. 

In a large saucepan or dutch oven, heat the oil and butter together over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds more. Add the rice and cook for 2 minutes or until slightly toasted, stirring occasionally. Stir in the wine and cook until absorbed. Add 1 cup (or 1 ladleful) of hot chicken broth and stir. Adjust the heat so that the broth simmers with the rice. After most of the broth has been absorbed, add another cup and stir. Continue cooking this way for about 30 minutes, or until all of the broth has been absorbed and the rice is tender and creamy. 

Remove from heat and stir in the peas and cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Source: A Much Kneaded original

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