Food for the soul and remedy for rainy days
With the weather report which seems to have lost the trace of sun and is invariably stucked on: rain, rainy, showers, heavy showers and so on, one can only say: thank God for comfort food! We all need it these days. The way I see it, the perfect comfort food must be easy: easy to make, easy to eat, easy to digest; it must be tasty and it must be sentimental. Looking from this perspective, Italian food ticks all the boxes for me: easy recipes, rich taste and a lot of passion. Passion for simple ingredients, passion for cooking and passion for eating – this is what Italian food is for me. Italians definitely know their food: they respect their produce and always know how to transform them into tasty dishes which are going straight to your heart. This courgette risotto is one of my all time favourites. I love how the courgette and lemon mix together and gice the risotto a fresh note.
- 160 grams Arborio rice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- one medium onion finely chopped
- 50 ml white wine
- 500 ml vegetable stock
- 20 grams Parmigiano Reggiano grated
- 25 grams unsalted butter
- 2 courgettes
- one table spoon of olive oil
- juice from half of a lemon
- salt and black pepper
- 2-3 teaspoons of Parmigiano Reggiano for serving
- Heat the olive oil into the casserole on medium heat, add the finely chopped onion and sweat it, stirring ocasionally with a woode spoon until it becomes transparent. Add the rice and continue stirring for 2-3 minutes. Then add the wine and leave it on medium heath for another 2-3 minutes, until all the alcohol evaporates completely.
- Gradually add the vegetable stock, half a ladle at a time, stirring continually with a wooden spoon until the rice incorporates all the liquid. Add as much stock as it is necessary, and taste the rice from time to time, taking care that the rice remains "al dente". Continue to cook for about 15 minutes.
- In the meantime, cut the courgettes into small cubes, add the lemon juice, some salt and pepper and gently fry them into olive oil, in a non-stick pan, for about 5-7 minutes.
- When the risotto is done, take it off the heat, add the butter and the grated Parmigiano and continue stirring until it becomes creamy.
- Add the courgettes and mix toghether with the risotto, then cover the casserole with a lid and leave it to rest for about 2 minutes.
- Serve hot, with some freshly ground black pepper and some more grated Parmigiano Reggiano.
- For an excellent result, always use special risotto rice. Try the most popular Arborio or Carnaroli, but search also for Vialone Nano.
- The wine: if it's not good enoug to drink it, than it's not good enough to cook with it! Always use good quality dry white wine.
- The stock: use home made vegetable stock. Keep your stock hot on the hob, never add cold stock in the risotto as it will lose its creamy consistency.
- For an authentic Italian experience, use freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano and try to avoid the ready-grated parmesan mixtures sold in the supermarkets - you will taste the difference.