Originating in Northern Italy, risotto has infinite variations. The common theme is that risotto requires a little time and care to cook. It’s the ultimate form of slow−cooking – although we’ve also included an easy oven-baked recipe.
Risotto rice is round−grained with an opaque centre. Varieties include arborio, carnaroli and vialone nano rice. These all retain their shape and ‘bite’ during cooking and absorb a large amount of liquid, while releasing their starch to create risotto’s signature creamy texture.
Arborio rice is grown in Australia and also imported from Italy, along with carnaroli and vialone nano.
LEFTOVER RISOTTO HACKS
Combine 1 egg with a half quantity of cold risotto. Shape 1 tablespoon quantities of risotto mixture into balls, press a small piece of bocconcini into centre and mould risotto mixture around to enclose. Roll balls in packaged dry breadcrumbs to coat. Deep−fry in hot olive oil until browned and cheese is melted in the centre. Serve with garlic mayonnaise (aïoli) or tomato sauce.
Add 1 egg to a half quantity of cold risotto. Shape into patties, then toss in flour to coat. Pan−fry in a non−stick frying pan in a little olive oil, or place on an oven tray lined with baking paper and bake in a hot oven until browned and crisp. Serve with a sauce or chutney of your choice for dipping.
PREP + COOK TIME 45 MINUTES SERVES 4
1.5 litres (6 cups) fish or vegetable stock
3 small fresh calamari (450g), cleaned
12 large uncooked prawns (500g)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion (200g), chopped finely
2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
2 cups (400g) arborio rice pinch saffron threads
¾ cup (180ml) dry white wine
¾ cup (180ml) tomato passata (Italian tomato puree)
8 black mussels (250g)
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon rind
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat−leaf parsley lemon halves, to serve
1 Bring stock to a gentle simmer in a medium saucepan.
2 Meanwhile, cut calamari hoods down centre to open out. Score insides in a diagonal pattern, then cut into pieces. Peel and devein prawns, leaving tails intact.
2 Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large heavy−based pan. Cook prawns and calamari over high heat, in batches, until prawns have just changed colour. Remove from pan.
3 Heat remaining oil in same pan. Add onion and garlic, and cook, stirring, until onion softens. Add rice and saffron, stir to coat well with onion mixture, then cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add wine and simmer, uncovered, until liquid has evaporated. Stir in tomato passata and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
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Issue 65 2020