Risotto, risotti, risotumtumtum

Reply Sat 23 May, 2009 05:51 pm
I've cooked many risottos over the years, dozens, at least once following a recipe. Well, usually following the basic recipe but often with a level of winging it depending on what has been at hand to cook with. Most of the risotti I've made have been with a bunch of people around, a lot of talk going on with the stirring, and some passing sips of wine and tales of the week passed. Results have varied. Undercooked was the worst, which I think only happened once, ok, twice, except maybe for overcooked.. though that was usually edible. But mostly all the efforts worked out fairly well, and leftover risotto can be good in itself.

I'm out of practice and don't have a crowd in the kitchen area much any more (me not always being the only cook in some of those circumstances, er, zoos).
Plus, I worked up a distaste, maybe not deserved, for a california arborio rice, just before I moved to new mexico - just not the same taste, per me. As it happens, italian arborio, and cannaroli from there or chile is hard to find very locally, and that californian one dominates my local markets. No big sacks of ital arborio.

So, that's the backstory. Well, backstory #1.

#2 is that I had an episode of debacle making roman artichokes - carciofi alla romana, anecdotes over on the "everything you ate yesterday" thread. Shortening that story, I am left with extremely expensive and delicious artichoke hearts and have to do something with them before they crump.

So - I found online a recipe involving artichokes and ingredients I have - that Frank Sinatra purportedly loved (do/did I love Frank Sinatra, no, sorry).
Here's the link:

culling the recipe and quoting - (uh, that would be 'villa')

Who could not love Risotto con Carciofi? In fact, from that time on when Sinatra returned (always, alas, sans Gardner) he made sure to make his first stop the formal Verandah and his first bite Risotto con Carciofi!

Serves 4 to 6

6 artichoke hearts
4 ½ tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
6 cups chicken stock
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cups Carnaroli rice
1 cup Italian spumante (sparkling wine)
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tablespoon minced flat-leaf parsley

Cut the artichokes into very thin slices. Set aside half of the slices. Melt ½ tablespoon of the butter with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add the artichokes and sauté for 3 minutes, or until soft in the center. Set aside.

Bring the stock to a boil in a medium saucepan, then reduce the heat and keep at a bare simmer.

Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until softened and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes, until every grain is coated with butter and oil. Then add ½ cup of the spumante and stir until absorbed.

Add 1 cup of the stock and stir until the liquid is absorbed. Add the uncooked sliced artichokes. Continue adding stock, about ½ cup at a time, stirring frequently and making sure all the liquid is absorbed before adding ore stock Cook until the rice is just tender and creamy but sill al dente, 15 to 20 minutes. You may have leftover stock.

Add the remaining ½ cup of the spumante and stir well. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the remaining 3 tablespoons butter, the Parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper to taste.

Let the risotto rest for a minute or two and serve on individual plates, topped with the sautéed artichokes and a sprinkling of the parsley. This risotto can also be served with any kind of Italian sausage, either grilled or sautéed with sage and butter.

For more on Vila d'Este and its cuisine, see the March 2007 issue of Dream of Italy. For more on visiting Italy's Lakes region, see Dream of Italy's Special Report: The Lakes, which can be purchased individually or is available along with over 60 other back issues as part of our subscription.

So I'm going to try this. I only have red wine at hand, Two Buck Chuck, a gift, as it happens. Which means that to keep the dish from looking dead grey, I'll add some chopped tomatoes/sauce, but not much. Both of which make it a different dish. Whatever.

Plus, some of the ingredients were involved in my dealing with the artichokes (waaaaaah!) in the first place, so I'm just adding the broth to those juices.

Some other links -

the recipe where I went wrong - re roman artichokes
the recipe I'll try next -
the website that gave me a clue re artichoke preparation -
Oh, great, I can't immediately find the link. And it was the most useful site so far, re the how to part. (will post when I find it again)

Will update with risotto results.

So, tell me about your risotto wars....[/color]

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Reply Sat 23 May, 2009 09:18 pm
Mumpad read about Veronese Vialone Nano Rice. Its italian. You could have knocked me down with a feather when i saw the price. 1 KG = 15.50!!!!
Million dollar rice Shocked

it says on the the side of the pack....
The Veronese Vialone Nano Rice, the king of all european rices for risotto the only rice in the whole od europe which can boast IGP classification Vvialone Nano produces a rice which has the ability to bond well with its condiments whilst the grains remian individual without becoming sticky.
Heres a link
Reply Sat 23 May, 2009 09:28 pm
here's some recipies
0 Replies
Reply Sat 23 May, 2009 09:32 pm
I've heard of that in the last couple of years. It's out of my league! I'm used to two pounds of arborio for five or six dollars, not that long ago - well, it seemed not that long ago. Maybe my mind is de-ricing.

I have some cannaroli from Lotus Foods, from Chile, I think, with which I'll give this a whirl. We'll see. I've liked that rice from them before.
Reply Sat 23 May, 2009 09:37 pm
or, deracinating.
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Reply Sat 23 May, 2009 09:39 pm
Its (fancydancepants rice) out of our league as well oss.
Reply Sat 23 May, 2009 09:43 pm
I just looked at the site... knobs and dessert spoons, ooooh, cute.

I probably need to get used to the california arborio, expensive enough as it is, which I only tried, um, three times. Maybe it was me that was the problem, I say, frowning, though I thought the difference was stark. (The international market here is a bunch of miles away. We'll see.)
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Reply Sun 24 May, 2009 12:12 pm
<sigh, risotto, another startch I'll have to give up? Maybe I can add some beans to the pot....>
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Walter Hinteler
Reply Sun 24 May, 2009 01:29 pm
Well Vialone Nano Rice is here as expensive (or cheap) as any other good rice 2.99 €/kg or less.

I prefer, however, the French "riz de Camargue" for risottos.
Reply Sun 24 May, 2009 03:07 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
I've never tried that either, Walter. Hmmm, they may have it at the international market across town.

Also, I've been misspelling carnaroli as cannaroli.
Reply Fri 29 May, 2009 05:06 pm
S0. I lied. My risotto didn't use that recipe, as I tossed the by-then elderly artichoke hearts. Used my old how-I-used-to-do-it recipe.

3 tbs of butter and 3 tbs olive oil
sauteed half of a big spanish onion, and three minced garlic cloves

sizzled two cups of arborio for a minute or so in the onion and oil butter mix

added 2/3 cup red wine, mmm, a low priced cabernet,
cooked that down,
added a few cut up canned tomatoes and some tablespoons of tomato sauce;

added, in the usual risotto manner, six or seven cups of chicken broth that was simmering in a pan on the side, always cooking the liquid and rice down with stirring off and on before adding more at about a half cup at a time

and some already parboiled and cut up swiss chard
some jarred chopped sweet red pepper with chile spices
a cut up already cooked bratwurst (I prefer fresh ital hot sausage, but..)

and when the risotto was done, several tablespoons of grated pecorino romano.

Turned out nicely, whew. (I have to get used to doing this again, takes a bit of attention).

So, tonight, some soup - chicken broth, more tomatoes, some carrots to flavor the broth, and eventually some of the left over risotto.

Next up, sauteed risotto squares, maybe with some mozzarello mixed in them.

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Reply Fri 29 May, 2009 05:11 pm
My Indian relatives inform me that quality rice ages, just like fine wine, and is perfect right around 10 years old. Apparently in India rice is specifically sold by the age in many places, though here in America it's almost impossible to find out how old your rice is.

Reply Fri 29 May, 2009 05:22 pm
I didn't know that, Cyclo. Think of the money to be made: Antico Nero Valone (or however you spell that), Arroz viejo...

But, interesting in itself. My Forbidden Rice package (black rice) is pretty old by now. Maybe I can hawk it on ebay.
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