Thursday, 8 October 2015

Stirring Stuff!

Risotto Semplice con Pomodoro & Fagiolini
Simple Tomato & Bean Risotto

It's always going to be simple... But it's also, always going to be tasty, THAT much is for sure!

And it's not always only because I am such a cheapskate that I make this kind of meal, with so few ingredients... Its usually more of a case of me thinking, "there really isn't any need to add anything more!"- yep! That's much, much closer to the truth!


It's the Sicilian in me that knows full well how little it takes to make tasty dishes... That and the fact that I am one of 9 children and my whole upbringing was based on simple, common-sense cooking and not on exclusive and extravagant fare.

This is another of those dishes that make you say "aaahh!", that make you feel good and that will have you going back for a second helping- or simply enjoying a more substantial one from the get-go like I did!


I made this lovely risotto, which was just enough for 2 first-course servings... Or one hearty supper, using just 7-8 runner beans, 7-8 cherry tomatoes, 2 cups of rice, 1 shallot, some fresh parsley and Parmesan, a light beef broth (you can use vegetable or chicken if you have nothing else) and a little salt, pepper, butter as well as an optional splash of white wine.

It's all there, it's all good and it's alright... But best of all is really easy to make as well!

Begin by frying the finely diced shallot in a little butter and then adding and stirring-in the rice, until it is nice glossy and coated.

Next, I added the beans, which I cut into fine slices and stirred them in too, until they also got lightly coated and became a slightly deeper shade of green.

You can either deglaze the saucepan by adding a splash of white wine or of broth, but as soon as you have done that, you can add the tomatoes and start cooking and stirring in earnest!!!

Add a broth and keep stirring, a ladle at a time, in the age old way... There's no need to obsess over it mind you! It's all a lot easier than you think... But it will take around a half an hour of your attention, so don't walk to far away!

After around 30 minutes, when the rice corns are swollen up to almost twice their size and you are almost done, add a good couple of tablespoons of grated Parmesan and add a last pat of butter... These are the things that are going to make your risotto so creamy and delicious!

Once all of the broth is absorbed and the rice is creamy and smooth and delicious, add plenty of black pepper and a good sprinkle of finely chopped parsley. Stir these in well, turn off the heat, pop on the lid and allow to sit and rest for 2-3 minutes, whilst you grab yourself a nice bowl and get ready to enjoy!

Enjoy your risotto piping hot and garnish with a little extra Parmesan, freshly ground pepper and parsley. Plain and simple and tasty good food!

The right consistency to aim for when making a risotto is one that when you push the rice back withy Our wooden spoon, it gently flows back like a smooth little wave, or "onda", which is the Italian word for it. So the expression to use here, is "al onda ", or "to the wave", once it is done and is rich, smooth and delicious!

Thick, creamy, flavorful and so full of comfort... Risottos are dishes that you just have to make every once in a while... Word!

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