So I’ve picked one of Mrs. Kalar’s favorites: risotto rosso. It’s fun because most risotto recipes call for the addition of white wine, which leads to a lighter tasting meal (and for some earthy punch to it, you can add something like saffron). Risotto rosso, however, calls for the addition of red wine and you don’t need something like saffron (kind of a waste in it, actually). Plus, it’s a very pretty meal. And it gives me an excuse to drink red wine (yeah, like I need an excuse).
The below should feed two very hungry people or three regular people for the main course, and takes about 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes from start to finish. If you want to change the scale of this, use 3 to 3.5 cups of liquid for every cup of dry arborio rice. You can also add fried pieces of bacon or fried pancetta.
1 onion, diced fine
1 red pepper, diced
2 carrots, chopped
1/2 cup of peas
4 cloves of garlic, diced
4 cups of vegetable broth
1/2 cup of dry red wine (plus another half cup for the cook)
1-1/3 cup of arborio rice
4 tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil
4 tbsp of paprika
crushed red-pepper flakes (to taste)
freshly ground pepper (to taste)
1/2 cup to 1/3 of a cup of grated parmesan cheese or grated grana padano cheese.
My pile of ingredients (and, again, Hoshi, my trusty Japanese knife):
1. Heat the broth in a large pot until simmering and keep simmering.
2. In another large pot, heat olive oil over medium to medium-high heat and fry onion, carrots, crushed red pepper, and ground black pepper for about five minutes (should soften and start to turn brown).
3. Add paprika to onion-carrot mixture and fry for another five minutes (should brown/roast the paprika).
4. Add garlic to onion-carrot-paprika mixture and fry for another three minutes.
5. Add arborio rice to vegetable mixture and fry, stirring constantly, for a minute.
6. Add wine into rice and stir until absorbed. Add wine into cook until absorbed.
7. Add hot broth to the rice one ladle at at time, stirring constantly and only adding more liquid when the last ladleful is almost absorbed. When halfway through the broth, throw the diced red pepper into the rice.
8. Once all the broth is used and almost all absorbed by the rice (it’ll look a bit muddy still), turn off heat and add peas to warm.
9. Add ground cheese.
10. Mix together thoroughly.
11. Eat and drink more wine.