Sunday, January 22, 2012

Do I actually have risotto down?

Making risotto has always felt like this big ordeal that I need to plan out days in advance. Onion chopping and sauteing following by stirring. And stirring. And stirring. Yesterday morning I thawed a box of chopped spinach with the intentions of making a spinach and feta pie or a spinach tart. As the night went on, I felt so blah about a tart for a Saturday night dinner. Saturday night dinners are for something rich or sexy -- like risotto. On a whim, I thought - it is time for risotto. By some luck, I had the onion, white wine (of course), Aborio rice, and chicken stock. Last night was the first time that I made a spur of the moment risotto and I am very happy with how it turned out.
Parmesan & Spinach Risotto and The Ides of March - I sense a green theme.
  • 1 quart vegetable or chicken stock
  • 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • small chopped yellow onion
  • 1 package frozen spinach, thawed and drained well
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1/2 glass dry white wine (half for me, half for the risotto!)
  • 2 Tbs. butter
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste 
  • 3 cloves minced garlic


In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the stock to a simmer and maintain over low heat. (or microwave for about 2 to 3 minutes in safe bowl).

In a large, heavy saucepan or Dutch Oven over medium heat, warm the olive oil and butter. Add the onion and sauté until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the spinach and garlic, reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the spinach mixture to a bowl and set aside.

Add the rice to the pan and stir until well coated with the oil and translucent with a white dot in the center, about 3 minutes. Add the wine and stir until absorbed. Add the stock a ladleful at a time, stirring frequently after each addition. Wait until the stock is almost completely absorbed before adding more. Reserve 1/4 cup stock to add at the end.

When the rice is almost tender to the bite but slightly firm in the center and looks creamy, after about 18 minutes, add the spinach mixture to the pan and add a ladleful of stock. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the spinach mixture is heated through and the rice is al dente, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, and stir in cheese and the reserved 1/4 cup stock (if needed). Season salt and pepper. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

A night on the couch with my hubs, warm risotto and a great movie. What a Saturday!

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