When I pictured running my own aquaponics business, writing food blogs was not something that I figured I would be doing. But alas here we are. The good news is that I love to eat, and if it’s a recipe that uses ingredients that I grew myself then I love it even more. This recipe is a particularly good one for Blue Roots Farm because of all the pork we have from Dan raising heritage breed pigs in the summer. I have a bit of a minimalist kitchen in terms of gadgets and pans, so I like to keep things simple. As long as the ingredients are top notch then nothing else matters. So without further ado…let’s make some risotto!
I had never made risotto before so it felt a bit blasphemous to stand there and stir a pot of rice. But it turns out it works just fine as long as you use the right rice; I used Arborio rice. The original recipe has some odd-for-Canadians weight measurements, so I re-wrote it after doing some conversions. Basic risotto goes like this: make a soffritto, sauté the rice, add some wine, then gradually and with lots of stirring add in hot stock. Some magical chemistry happens with the starch molecules and the end result is a lovely, creamy rice dish.
2 shallots (or just onion)
2-3 chorizo sausages
½ bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley
750ml to 1 liter of chicken stock
2 cups of cubed or crushed tomatoes
1 ½ cups risotto rice (Arborio)
200ml red wine
Parmesan to your hearts content
Instructions Serves four people
1. Peel and finely chop the shallots and garlic, finely chop the chorizo, and finely chop the parsley keeping the leaves and stalks separate from each other.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a wide, shallow pan (I used my beloved cast iron enamel baking dish). Add the parsley stalks, shallot, garlic and chorizo to the heated oil and cook over a medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, or until the shallot is softened and the chorizo is beginning to crisp.
3. Meanwhile, in another pan, heat the stock with the tinned tomatoes.
4. Add the rice to the shallot mixture and stir to coat the grains. Cook over a high heat for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the grains are slightly translucent at the tips, then pour in the red wine. Stir well and cook until almost all the wine has evaporated.
5. Add the hot stock and tomato mixture, ladle by ladle, stirring well with each addition, and only adding more when the previous ladle is almost fully absorbed. You may not need all of the mixture, or you may need to top it up with a little water.
6. The rice should be tender but with a little bite in the middle. When it’s cooked, add one last ladle of liquid.
7. Finely grate about ¼ cup of Parmesan, then add it to the pan with some seasoning. Stir well, take off the heat and cover. Leave for 5 minutes or so before stirring again, tasting and adjusting the seasoning, if necessary.
8. Serve topped with extra grated Parmesan and the chopped PARSLEY leaves.