Category Archives: rice & risotto

Risotto al melograno – Pomegranate risotto(-3 weeks)

Recipe 9: For the first dish of the year I wanted something great, a bit unusual, weird… In few word, something special and I remembered this recipe my mum prepared in one of the latest Christmas: Risotto with pomegranate!

Ingredients for 6 people:  500 gr. of rice, 2 pomegranates, 1 onion, pepper, salt, a bit of butter and Parmesan, 250gr speck.

Put some oil in a pan with the onion and let it cook until goldish. Take of the fruits from the pomegranate and leave them in a side. Then add the speak chopped in little cubes and let it cook.

Add the rice, let it toast and add a glass of white wine. When evaporated add some vegetable sauce from the stock. When the rice is almost ready add the pomegranate’s fruits.
When ready take the pan off the fire, add some black pepper, butter and grated Parmesan. Enjoy!

PS. Piatto super lusso per l’inizio dell’anno. Ok il sapore e’ un po’ originale ma per i primi giorni dell’anno nuovo ci sta proprio bene!!!!

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Riso al latte – Milky rice… and it’s not a dessert (- 15 weeks)

Recipe 34: Today a special dish recommended by my father instead: the milky rice. I have to say the true…i have never tried it before but he use to eat it when he was a child, thanks to my grandma.
Basically i have always done a very weird face every time my father was speaking about this rice, but because this week we have lots of milk to use, i ask my parents what i could cook and my father convinced me to try it… and i liked it a lot. Ok, it’s a bit heavy because basically is like to eat rice and besciamella, but now i understand why he was crazy for that.
 
 
The recipe is very easy is usual. Here are the ingredients for 2 people: 140 gr of rice, 800 ml of milk, some salt, 10 gr of butter, nutmeg and 20 gr Parmesan cheese. That’s all!
  
Take half of the milk and bringing almost to boil. Here I added some salt too. Take the other milk hot in a pan on very low fire.

When the first pan with milk is almost boiling, add the rice and let it cook until it absorb all the milk. Mix always to avoid the rice to stick and turn down the fire for a slow cook.
When the rice has absorbed all the milk, add the other hot milk and keep on stirring. The rice will take around 20 minutes in total to get ready and thick.

Add some nutmeg and keep on mixing until the rice is ready reaching a risotto consistency. At this point add the butter and when all melted, serve it in a plate with some grated parmesan and some pepper. Enjoy!
Ps. Papa’ finalmente ho provato I’ll riso di cui tanto parli sempre e devo ammettere che e’ buonissimo! Ci credo che da piccolo ti piaceva, sembra riso con la besciamella! Penso che una volta ci provero’ a fare dei tortini al forno devono essere deliziosi!

Minestra d’orzo perlato – Pearl barley soup

Recipe 35: The autumn is definitely here so last night i decided to make this soup my mum used to cook often in the winter. I love the pearl barley because it’s lighter but much more consistent than the rice and with a very particular taste and “texture”. When you cook the barley in fact it seems letting out some sort of amid that make the soup even more saucy and creamy.

However, if you have never try it before, just cook this recipe and you will understand what I’m speaking about. The ingredients for 2 people are: 100-120 gr of pearl barley, 1 big potato, 1 celery, 1 carrot, 1 little onion or shallot, some olive oil, a little chili, rosemary and nutmeg if you like it, 70 gr pancetta or speck if you can find it, 50-100gr kidney beans in spring water, 2 vegetable stocks, some mushrooms and some Parmesan or Pecorino cheese.

Considering the ingredients, i have also chosen this dish to participate to “in the bag” food blog event organized by the blog “A slice of cherry pie‘. I hope they will include me in the round-up!

To cook the barley i suggest you to follow the instruction on the product, because i think everyone is slightly different. To cook mine i had to place it in a sauce pan and cover it with cold water. Let it boil and just after drain it and pass it under cold water. Then you need to place it again in the sauce pan, again covered with cold water and wait 1 hour and 1/4 to have it ready. Yes, it’s a bit long but it’s worth it.

As soon as was starting this second part of the cooking process i added 2 vegetable stocks.

In the meantime that the barley is cooking, clean and cut in little pieces the carrot, the celery, the onion, the potato, some mushrooms and the chili. Put everything in a pan with a bit of boiling olive oil and let it cook. When almost ready, add also the pancetta and the rosemary. Of course if you want a vegetarian version you can also avoid the pancetta and I’m sure the taste will be amazing anyway.

If the water of the barley will reduce a lot, add some other but i suggest a bit worm to don’t stop the cooking process. Around half an hour before the end of the cooking timing, add the mixed vegetable and pancetta to the barley and mix it all. Add at this point some nutmeg too and some more warm water.

Let cook everything for at least 20 minute (the carrots and the potatoes take a bit long to get soft) and then try the soup. Adjust the taste with some salt if needed and add now also some kidney beans. The ones sold in spring water don’t need to boil and are ready to be eaten, so just add them at the end.

When the barley has absorbed all the water, becoming a thick and creamy soup, just add some grated Pecorino or Parmesan cheese, in the pan. Mix a bit and serve it hot!

Buon appetito!

PS. Mamy questa devi provare a fartela pure te. Sono infatti convinta che la tua era senza pancetta o speck, ma avendo un po’ di avanzi nel frigo, ho mischiato tutto e l’unione di tutti questi sapori ci sta benissimo! A Nathalie avevo servita una bella porzione e se l’e’ spazzolata! Poi sai che l’orzo ha veramente pochissime calorie? Buonissimo!

Pomodori ripieni – Rice filled tomatoes

Recipe 42: This recipe is something i needed to cook now, before was too late. The rice filled tomatoes it’s another classic summery dish and i wasn’t really a big fun of it, until i tried them again this time. I have to say i did them REALLY well! I was impressed. My mum of course used to do them often because it’s a one dish meal and for the summer it’s really practical and easy.

The ingredients are : the biggest tomatoes you can find and i would consider at least 2 per person (i’m sorry but here in London the tomatoes are all quite little), one spoon rice for tomatoes, some salt, basil, flat leaves parsley, pepper and olive oil.

Wash the tomatoes and cut the top of them. Take off the interior and place it in a bowl. Then cut the pulp and mix it with parsley and basil finely chopped. Add some salt, pepper and the spoon of rice you will need for all the tomatoes. Mix it well and fullfill the tomatoes.

At this point, try to add in each of them some of the liquid from the tomatoes you put in a side at the beginning… but don’t add the seeds. Turn on the oven at around 180 degrees and place the tomatoes on a baking pan with baking paper or oil to don’t make stick to the pan. The rice will need this sauce to cook!

Let them in the oven for at least 20 minutes and then try some rice to see if it’s ready. Probably it will be still hard, so add other tomato sauce you have in a side and maybe a bit more oil.  Put them again in the oven until ready!

Serve it hot or at a warm temperature. They are good also cold from the fridge but i prefer them a bit warm. Enjoy!

PS. Mamma con tutto il prezzemolo, basilico, sale e pepe che c’ho messo, sono venuti troppo buoni! ed io che non ne andavo pazza per niente penso che li cucinero’ piu’ spesso…o forse e’ solo il fatto che non li mangio da una vita!

Insalata di riso – Rice salad

Recipe 57: I’m in holiday in these days so it’s very difficult to update the blog and not just for the  internet connection, hard to find or very slow, but especially because I was and I’m still with very good chefs. I tried to cook a bit, but amazed by my mum dishes and my friends capabilities, I couldn’t bother to cook some of my recipes.

In Spain the only one I tried was the Insalata di riso or Rice salad, fresh, easy, and perfect to use all the food left in the fridge. The only thing that really matter is the time of cooking of the rice. If you are good with that, the dish will be a success.

Ingredients: rice,  pitted olives (green or black it’s the same), cherry tomatoes, Frankfurt or ham, emmethal, eggs, mais, pies, cappers, or whatever else you like.

For this recipe I have asked to everyone the secret they use to cook the rice and there are 2000 different theories. I tried one, but I wasn’t happy neither with that, so I will give you my mum’s solution:

Put some water to boil with salt and then add around 50 gr of rice per person.  Let the rice cook but try it often, I wouldn’t leave it there for more than 10 minutes. You need to drain it when “al dente”. That’s really important. So if on the bag it says 15 minutes, try it at 10 and remember that it will finish to cook a bit outside too. If instead the rice is already perfect, pass it under cold water to stop the cooking process.

In the meantime, boil also some egg, cut some emmenthal cheese, ham or Frankfurt, olives, cappers, peppers or cherry tomatoes if you want, mais and if you can, boil also some pies. I love them in this salad.

When the rice is ready and all these ingredients are cut in pieces, add some oil to the rice and all the ingredients, mixing very well. My mum doesn’t use to add anything else to it, maybe just a bit of salt and pepper, but all the ingredients will give the taste to the rice.

Serve in a plate and Buon appetito!

PS. Mamy con la cottura del riso sono una vera tragedia…mi viene sempre extra cotto! Argh! ho provato anche con un misurino di riso e 3 di acqua e nulla, alla fine era un pappone. La prossima volta mi ci metto proprio con attenzione, e vediamo se al prossimo pic nic saro’ piu’ fortunata! Meglio i risotti del riso semplice! uffa!

Risotto alla Pescatora – Easy Seafood Risotto

Recipe 78: This week it’s another tough one and i didn’t really have time to cook too much… but at least in the weekend i tried to treat myself.

So last weekend I prepared this nice Seafood Risotto, of course in a simplified version respect to the one that wants you to clean, cut all the fresh fish and to take the shells off from the seafood. I just bought a selection of seafood already clean and I add some king prawns, to make it more tasty! Anyway here in the supermarkets it’s very hard to find nice fresh fish. I need to go to Borough Market for a real food shopping!

The ingredients for 3/4 people are: 240gr of seafood selection, 140gr of king prawns, 300/400gr of rice, 1 glass of white wine, onion, garlic, 1 chilli, parsley and some spoons of tomato sauce.

Cut finely the onion, some garlic cloves and half of a red chili. Put all this in a pan with some oil and let it cook while you wash the seafood.

When the onion get goldish, add the fish, 2 or 3 spoons of tomato sauce, some salt and pepper and i also use to add some butter just to give more taste.

After a bit on the fire, pour 2 ladles of hot water (better if you had put some fish stock to boil in it or if you bought some fresh fish and you cooked it in there before) and let it cook for 15-20 minute. In the meantime you can put the rice to cook in a sauce pan with some boiling water.

When the water will be evaporated, you will have a nice sauce, but to make it even better add the last touch, a glass of white wine, mix it and wait until the sauce get a bit thick again.

Cut some parsley and when the rice is ready, add the sauce to the rice and serve it with the fresh parsley.

I wouldn’t put Parmesan on it… we normally don’t use it for pasta with fish, but if the rice it’s a bit dry and if you just used a little quantity of tomato sauce, i think could be nice to add a bit of lemon. Depend by your taste!

Enjoy!

PS. Mamy, lo so tu questa ricetta non la facevi praticamente mai, ma io avevo una voglia di frutti di mare che ho tentato di trovare una ricettina facile facile per poter avere un bel risotto alla pescatora in poco tempo. Che te ne pare?

My Special Christmas dishes!

Recipe 114: this is not a classic italian Christmas recipe but, for a reason or another, this rice is something i always cook in Christmas. Last year i did it for my parents who came to London to see me, and this year I prepared it for my friends before to come back to Italy for the Christmas break.

Just to make the dinner a  bit more interesting i also prepared a little and super-easy starter that goes really well with the rice. An amazing champagne and wine completed the dinner.

For three people the ingredients are: a bunch of asparagus (8/10)- 250gr rice – around 100gr goat cheese – 1 onion – butter – 50/70gr pancetta – a glass of white wine – a vegetable stock – pepper – salt – chilli  and if you also want to do the starter you will need around 300 gr of Jumbo prawns.

As usual, let’s start from the onion: cut it in little pieces and put it in a quite big sauce pan with some butter or olive oil. Wait for the color to become goldish and add the pancetta. In the mean time wash and cut the asparagus in 2 or three pieces and put them to boil in a little sauce pan, while in a another container you will put some water to boil for the vegetable stock.

When the pancetta is a bit cooked, add the rice and let it toast in the sauce pan. after few minutes you can add the white wine and mix it all until the wine is totally evaporated. add some of the vegetable stock water and let it cook always mixing a bit to don’t make the rice stick to the pan.

Waiting for the rice to cook, you can now prepare the starter: put some batter in a pan and let it melt. After a bit you can put the jumbo prawns with some salt, pepper and chilli. Wait for them to fried a bit with the butter and then add some white wine. in thsi way you will create a nice sauce that will help the prawns to be cooked and the taste will be amazing. Wait until they are a nice orange color and you can serve them in a plate with some of teh asparagus you put to boil before.

Be careful: for the rice you will use mainly the tender points of the vegetable, so i suggest you to use for the started the other part of the vegetable that for the rice would be too hard.

When the rice is almost cooked add the tender parts of teh asparagus you boiled before with their water, to maintain more flavour and mixing all wait for the rice to cook and the water to evaporate.

When the rice is ready, take it off from the fire and add the goat cheese in pieces: mix it all and the cheese will melt giving to the plate even more consistency and a great taste. Then serve it as usual with some Parmesan!

Buon appetito e Buon Natale!

PS. Mamy te lo ricordi questo riso che vi ho fatto l’anno scorso e che vi era piaciuto tanto? beh questo anno ho bissato e l’ho preparato per la nostra cena natalizia a casa prima che partissi con anche un bell’antipasto di gamberetti! Ormai questo risotto e’ diventato il mio piatto natalizio e viene sempre benissimo!