Friday, 28 October 2011

October Sunshine

Risoni con Lenticchie, Gamberi, Pomodoro, Sedano & Olive
Risoni with lentils, Shrimp, Tomato, Celery and Olives

Ok it was cold... but it was a wonderfully sunny day today. And of course, I was trapped in the office and unable to get out and enjoy it. So, is it any wonder that by the time I got home this evening at 7.30, I was in the mood for something yummy and Mediterranean and Summery to make up for it? Nah... it really isn't, is it?

So it was my usual drill- maximum taste, minimum time! I decided to do a one-pan meal and to keep things simple. I started out by sautéeing finely chopped bacon, along with some finely diced carrots and celery- as usual, with no extra fat added. I then added 3-4 very finely chopped stalks of parsley... the leaves I saved for later, but the stalks have a lot of good flavor too! After 2-3 minutes, I added the risoni and kept stirring- seasoning with salt, pepper and some chopped garlic. I de glazed the pan with a good shot of Sambuca and followed it up with some boiling water- just a small amount, enough to give everything a nice, creamy  consistency. I added a little ground fennel seed and some powdered ginger, cayenne pepper and a little splash of orange juice. And then I kept stirring- just as you would a risotto.

After about 8 minutes cooking time, I added more finely chopped parsley, the olives and some cherry tomatoes that I cut into quarters. I kept stirring until the liquid had reduced down and quickly added the shrimps, a teaspoon of tomato paste and a little more orange juice. And then I zoomed off to fetch myself a plate- because dinner was ready!

So next time it is a little bit late in the evening and you really feel like something yummy to eat- do not fear! In around 15 minutes you could easily whip-up a tasty little meal like this... and now you know how!


  1. I love how you take traditional Italian concepts and spin them one way or the other. Many, like this one, seem almost 'oriental' in its use of spices.

    Risoni (which they call orzo here in the US for whatever reason) is a great pasta shape. Great for a quick meal, as you say, or in my case, a midnight snack!

  2. Thank you Frank! And I love getting your approval and appreciation! I love to play with flavors and spices- I am so happy that you appreciate that and find it good! I love traditional cuisine- the old, Sicilian dishes my mother makes- and I cook them too- I think there is room for tradition and innovation in my kitchen- lol! In any case- thanks for the encouraging words- this non-cook here really appreciates them!

  3. Foodafok thank you for your comment too! I am glad you are enjoying my dishes! Best regards- Francesco