Thursday, May 10, 2012

Anna Sultana's Risotto, Maltese Style, with Variations

Risotto is a fairly simple recipe.
If you don't use champagne and truffles, as Carmela did in her recipe.
Time consuming, but easy.

For special occasions, Ma would make some.
But, it had to be a special occasion.
A really special occasion.

Ma served risotto as a side dish.
It went further that way.
Usually a cup of raw rice stretched to 6 servings.
Ma made sure of that.


                        Risotto


In a saucepan simmer over very low heat
5 Cups beef broth

In a dutch oven heat over medium heat
2 Tablespoons olive oil

Add
1 small onion, chopped fine
Cook for 2 minutes.

Add 
1 Cup rice, medium-grain or whatever you have
Stir for 1 minute.

Add
1/2 Cup of the broth
Continue cooking, stirring until liquid is absorbed.
Repeat with the remaining broth, 1/2 Cup at a time.

After about 20 minutes, the liquid should all be absorbed, yet the rice will be al dente,
tender yet firm to the bite, moist and creamy.
If it's dry you can add water.
Taste and add if necessary
Salt and black pepper

Place risotto in serving bowl.
Top with
grated romano or parmesan (if desired)
Serve immediately.


Ma never used a truffle.
But she knew how to jazz up her risotto.
Sometimes she even made a whole meal out of it.


While cooking, add to your risotto any of the following:
chicken livers
clams
shrimp
fish, mushrooms and peas
beans and chopped vegetables
marrow, tomatoes, mushrooms, cheese and butter
marrow, mushrooms, saffron and butter
ham, mushrooms, green peppers, saffron and diced tomatoes

The last two recipes are also good without the saffron.

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