Friday, 18 January 2013

A Little Pilau Talk

Riso al Forno con Peperone Rossi, Ajvar, Pancetta e Piselli
Baked Red Pepper, Ajvar, Bacon & Pea Pilau Rice

Here is another ultra-simple and almost one-pot meals for you. Well, of course it was actually for ME- but I am going to share with you how I made it :-) Still feeling a little under the weather with my cold, I wanted to fix something easy and comforting again... what else? But tired of soups, I decided to make a little rice dish...

I was going to make a simple Risi-Bisi, a traditional Roman rice and pea risotto, which would have been wonderful... but it would have meant preparing broth and standing at the stove and stirring for 40-45 minutes- not for me this evening! I wanted to make something tasty and satisfying, but much easier...

I began by finely chopping a red pepper, some bacon and onion and stir-frying them in their own fat and juices for 5-6 minutes, until the onion was transparent, the bacon beginning to brown and the peppers beginning to soften. I then added 1 cupful of Basmati rice and stirred it in well, until it was coated by the bacon fat and juices. Next came a tablespoon of tomato paste and 2 tablespoons of Ajvar, as well as a handful of chopped parsley, salt, pepper, a little paprika and a hint of cayenne. Once these were all well mixed, I added the peas (frozen), two and a half cups of water, stirred everything together and transferred it to a baking dish and covered it with foil... then into the oven it went, which was pre-heated and at 250°F for around 30 minutes.

After that time, once I removed the foil, I was greeted by the sight of a fluffy and light rice, and a wonderful pepper and paprika aroma... mmm! I sprinkled the rice lightly with cheese and gave it a couple of minutes under the broiler... just as a little extra! I used a grated Emmentaler, but basically any cheese will do- its just for that toasty, "fresh from the oven-ness"... you know what I'm saying! And I think you probably like it too!

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