Throwing in any sort of Italian dish for a dinner will always guarantee you a happy and satisfied guest. Italian food is basic and simple but extremely satisfying and comforting. It’s my absolute favorite cuisine to eat and cook. I always try to incorporate one Italian dish into my set meals if I cook at home. In this case, I made a risotto. Risotto is a perfect dish to make for this “Under $100 Concept” because risotto is something you can use later again and transform into another extremely tasty dish. I took the leftovers and made risotto cakes the next morning for breakfast turning out 5 courses from all the ingredients. Below is my spring risotto recipe.
Spring Risotto w/ Parmigiano Reggiano and Chevre
Ingredients: Serves 2 with leftovers for risotto cakes
1/2 cup frozen or fresh corn
½ cup frozen peas
½ cup of cut asparagus (1 inch in length)
2 cups Arborio rice
1 large carton of chicken stock
¼ minced white onions
2 teaspoon minced Italian parsley
4 tablespoon chevre/goat cheese
1 cup grated parmigiano reggiano (leave ½ for sprinkling when risotto is done)
¼ cup dry white wine
4 tablespoon butter
Olive oil for drizzling
Salt and pepper for taste
• Heat a large pot w/ 2 tablespoon butter and a few drizzles of olive oil. Add your minced onions and Arborio rice. Coat the Arborio with the oil and the onions. This process is called “sofrito.” Once the grains are nice and shiny and coated with the oil, pour in your wine and let it reduce a bit. Be sure to always stir your risotto and not let it stick to your pot.
• Once the wine reduces, add the chicken stock. Add ¼ cup of stock to your risotto and let it cook down before you add more stock. You have to keep stirring and add your stock as the liquid evaporates. After 5 minutes of this process, add the corn, asparagus and peas. This entire cooking process will take about 15 minutes or so before it becomes al dente and ready.
• Taste the risotto and make sure it is al dente. Now turn your heat off and add the cheese and the remainder of the butter. Stir vigorously and whip in the cheese and butter. Now add ¼ cup of your parmigiano reggiano and stir. Taste your risotto and season with salt and pepper. Once you get the right saltiness, you can plate your risotto. Drizzle a little olive oil on top and sprinkle some more parmigiano on top. A few turns of fresh cracked pepper is optional but adds a nice kick to it.
Optional: A few drizzles of white truffle oil will really dress up this dish and make it extra special.