Wednesday, 12 October 2011

And the Greeks had a Word for it...

Risoni con Rucola, Pastinaca, Olive Nere e Porro Caramellato
Risoni with Arugula, Parsnip, Black Olives and Caramelized Leek

Yes, the Greeks have a word for it, the word is Kritharaki, but we know these little pasta creations as Risoni. This is my second dish so far using Risoni and I am liking them a little more each time I make them. Quick, easy and satisfying- this was just what I needed this evening after an 11 hour workday and a walk home in the rain. I needed something warm and comforting and I needed it fast!

So I started off with a very finely chopped soffritto of carrot, celery, garlic, parsnip and onion which I sautéed in clarified butter. I seasoned with salt, pepper, nutmeg and decided to keep things simple this evening. I added the risoni, seasoned with salt, pepper and nutmeg and simmered on a moderate heat for 5 minutes.

After 5 minutes, the risoni had soaked up all the water, so I added about a cupful of milk
and about 2 handfuls of Arugula, which I chopped  very finely and carried on stirring. After another couple of minutes, I added the chopped black olives and a little cayenne pepper. So much for the risoni! That was all that it took to turn them into a creamy but savory delight.

The finishing touch was a topping of finely sliced leek which I sautéed in a little olive oil and sugar until it become golden brown... and very delicious! I opted not to add grated cheese or salted ricotta this time- the slightly bitter arugula, the slightly salty olives, the sweet leeks and the creamy consistency of the risoni blended very nicely and the nutmeg brought all of the flavors together and made them into something special! Lucky me! And lucky YOU if you decide to give them a go!

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