Friday, 14 August 2015

Rice recipes

Here are some rice recipes I posted on my previous blog from January 2010 till February 2015.

Rice with Mushrooms
A successful recipe I often repeat, especially on chilly days, is Rice with Mushrooms. You can use dried mushrooms, which are easier, or fresh ones. I usually opt for the easiest way, drop about 10 g of dried mushrooms in some warm water and let them soften.


I prepare the rice (Arborio rice) in the usual way, with some olive oil and butter (about 30 g) in a saucepan, adding half an onion finely cut and cooking it gently till transparent. Then I add the rice (300g for four people), salt, pepper and parsley. I drain the mushrooms and add them as well. I stir well for a few seconds then add the stock (about one litre) little by little, letting the rice absorb it while cooking, and stirring from time to time. When it is ready you can serve it with parmigiano and more parsley sprinkled on top.

Rice with celery and carrots
A few weeks ago I had no idea what to cook for a Friday night.  My children were all back home and I wanted something new and special, but I had no time to go shopping so I had to manage with what was in the house.  I fancied rice and had plenty of carrots and celery I had bought for a rag├╣.  So I had a go.  This is how it turned out.
For four people you need: 300 g of Arborio rice, 1 litre of stock, a stalk of celery, a small onion, 2 carrots, 40 g of butter, 2 tbsp of olive oil, 2 tbsp of thick double cream, 2 tbsp of parmigiano, salt, pepper, parsley and thyme.

Warm the oil and the butter in a pan, add the ground celery, carrots and onion and fry gently for five minutes.  Pour the cream and mix together.  Add the rice and stir for a few minutes, then start pouring the stock little by little, letting the rice absorb it.  Season to taste with salt, pepper, parsley and thyme.  Keep stirring from time to time.  When it is ready add parmigiano and serve warm.
To be honest my family didn’t expect it to taste so good.  It was a pleasant surprise for me and gave great satisfaction.
So have a go!

Rice with courgettes
I tried this recipe a week ago.  To be honest it wasn’t very popular because I am the only one in the house who loves vegetables, and almost all the other members of the family hate courgettes!   But I find the courgettes’ delicate taste complements the rice.  What do you think?
For four people you need:
300 g of Arborio rice, one litre of stock, two courgettes, half a stalk of celery, half a carrot, half an onion, 30 g of butter, two tbsp of olive oil, parsley, salt, pepper and parmigiano.
Melt the butter in a saucepan with the olive oil, cut the courgettes into thin circles and cook them for ten minutes.  Add the celery, carrot and onion, finely diced, and simmer for 5-10 minutes.  Add the rice, salt, pepper and parsley.  Stir while pouring in the stock little by little, letting the rice soak it up.  When the rice is cooked through, but still with a little “bite”, serve it with parmigiano sprinkled on top.

Rice with pancetta
I must say we have pasta nine days out of ten but from time to time we like a change and have rice instead.  As my daughter Valentina loves pancetta this is a recipe I prepared expressly for her.
For four people you need:
300 g of Arborio rice, one litre of stock, a stalk of celery, one carrot, half an onion, 2 tbsp of olive oil, 30 g of butter, 200 g of tomato passata, 200 g of pancetta cubes, rosemary, oregano, salt, pepper and parmigiano.
Melt the butter in a saucepan with the olive oil.  Cut the celery, onion and carrot into tiny pieces and cook them in the saucepan together with the pancetta for about five minutes.  Add the tomato passata, oregano, rosemary, salt and pepper.  Let it simmer for 5-10 minutes.  Add the rice and stir.  Gradually pour in the stock, little by little, letting the rice soak it up.  Add salt if necessary.  When the rice is ready serve with parmigiano.

Saffron Rice
This is a traditional dish from Milan in northern Italy.  It is also called risotto alla Milanese or risotto allo zafferano, and is ideal for cold, foggy days.  The saffron gives the rice a nice yellow colour and a delicious aroma.
For four people you need:
300 g of Arborio rice, 50 g of butter, 2 tbsp of olive oil, a small onion, one litre of stock, 2-3 strands (0.4 g) of saffron, five tbsp of parmigiano and salt.

Melt half of the butter with the olive oil in a big saucepan, add the onion finely cut and cook for a few minutes.  Add the rice and stir.  Mix the saffron with the stock and pour it in little by little, letting the rice cook and soak it up.  Keep stirring gently.
When the rice is ready add salt, the rest of the butter and parmigiano.  Let it rest a few minutes before serving.
Optional: add a bit of white wine and/or bone marrow to the rice before pouring in the stock.


Hallowe'en Dish

And here is a delicate rice dish we traditionally make at Halloween with the flesh of the pumpkin we empty and carve to make the Jack O’Lantern.
For four people you need: 350 g of Arborio rice, 300 g of pumpkin flesh, 2tbsp of olive oil, 30 g of butter, 1 litre of stock, half an onion, parsley, salt, pepper and parmigiano.

Chop the pumpkin flesh and the onion. Let them cook in a pot with oil and butter till the pumpkin is soft. Add the rice and stir. Keep stirring and add the stock a little at a time till the rice is cooked. Add salt, pepper and parsley to your taste. Serve hot sprinkled with parmigiano.



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