May 1, 2010

Easy Easy Risotto with Marinara

This is a dish I found in the Pasta & Co. Encore cookbook. What got my attention was the directions indicating to rinse the risotto before cooking. Hmmmm...that seems really incongruent to the usual risotto method, so I was instantly intrigued. I figured I would give it a go, to see what the difference is in method; and if successful, have another vegetarian risotto recipe up my sleeve. I am a little skeptical, but we will see...I will let you know how it goes!

Easy Easy Risotto with Marinara
From: Pasta & Co. Encore cookbook

2 cups Arborio rice
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
2 cups minced onion
2 large garlic cloves, peeled and put through a press
29 oz. of chicken broth or homemade stock (equals 2 x 14 1/2 oz. cans of broth, if not using homemade stock)
1 cup of marinara sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
pinch of nutmeg
3 bay leaves
1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese

Rinse the rice under cold running water and drain well (this violates a cardinal rule of good risotto making). In a large nonstick skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Saute onions and rice until golden, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another minute. Add chicken broth/stock, marinara sauce, salt, pepper, nutmeg, & bay leaves. Stir and cover tightly with lid or foil. Reduce heat to low and cook very slowly, without stirring, for about 30 minutes or until rice is tender. This dish is meant to be a bit sticky. Fold in Parmesan and taste for seasoning. Serve hot or at room temperature.

The Result:
This was just okay. It was good, but nothing truly special. It tasted like risotto mixed with marinara I will say that the no-stir method was kinda nice, however I have had (and made) better risotto recipes. I garnished our risotto with a chunk of heirloom tomato (which we had sliced up for a quick side dish, as well). Let's just say that the tomatoes were the highlight of the meal. Overall, this was merely mediocre, and not a recipe that I would be in a hurry to make again.

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