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Sunday, June 5, 2011

Risotto Time and Dave's Fresh Pasta

I learned to make risotto. Real risotto, not the stuff from the box. I also learned how to make gnocchi but that's a post for another day.

A few weeks ago two of my friends and I took a risotto making class at Dave's Fresh Pasta in Somerville, MA. (Great great store by the way... awesome local products, great selection of fresh pastas and sauces, I recommend the basil marina sauce and the fennel chicken ravioli personally.) The class was held in their back kitchen.

Risotto happens to be very easy to make! Unlike how they protray it on TV, it's just a few simple ingredients that you can add your own combinations to.
The class covered 3 different types, one with mushrooms, one with fiddleheads and one with saffron. Yum. All three had different tastes but were very declicious.
 I was determined to make it at home since it was so super simple. The key to a delicious risotto is to let it cook. Surprising to me - it's not the butter or cheese that makes it creamy, it's all about the rice and letting it cook for long enough to make the rice soft.

Here's my recipe:
  • 1 package of Arborio rice
  • A lot of chicken stock (I mean a lot - I bought those small individual sized containers and used all 4 of them) - warm when added
  • 1 shallot
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 cup approx of cheese - I used munster (I don't recommend it) and some fresh parm.
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 red pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Hot italian sausage - 3 links
First off I cooked the sausage in a little bit of oil. I took it out of the casing first so it mixes together better into the rice.
Then I add a splash of olive oil and sweated the shallots and garlic a little bit.
At this point you add in the rice and mixed it up so it's all covered in the oil. Stir for about 2 minutes.
Add in the first cup or so for WARM chicken stock - very important to be warm when you add it otherwise the consistency of the risotto will be off.
Stir - keep stirring until it's not soupy, then add another cup of chicken stock.
Repeat the adding until the rice is cooked to your liking - texture wise. This will take awhile. Took me about 20 - 25 minutes to get the chicken stock incorporated.
When it's almost done, add that stick of butter! Yay! And add in the pepper - since it takes a few minutes to soften the peppers, you're going to add them a littler earlier than the sausage.
After the butter is melted and incorporated, take the mixture off  the heat and add in the cheeses - the heat from the rice mixture will melt the cheese. Also add the sausage.
Mix and serve!

I also have to do a little plug for my friend Amy who attended the cooking class - check out her blog. She rocks also :-)

1 comment:

  1. Hehe, you beat me! :) I'll be getting my post up soon hopefully! Thanks for the shout out too!