When you hear “Risotto”, Italy naturally comes to your mind immediately.
Risotto is one of the most important and indispensable dishes of Italian cuisine. Italians often consume Risotto on both special occasions and dinners. Risotto’s history begins with Italy’s introduction of rice. Already this dish takes its name from the root of “Riso” word which means rice in Italian.
So how did Risotto come about?
Two workers working in the Duomo cathedral, names Luigi and Valerio, fall in love with the master’s daughter at the same time. But the girl loves Valerio. Unable to digest this situation, Luigi aims to dishonor the wedding dinner. To do this, he throws plenty of saffron into the cooked rice. He thinks that those who come to the wedding will not like it and they will regret coming to the wedding. Quite the contrary, guests like risotto.
As you can see, it is possible to prepare risotto with many different ingredients such as mushrooms, vegetables, or cheese as well as saffron.
Some tips should be considered when cooking this dish: First of all, the rice used for risotto must be high in starch, granular and cracked rice suitable for cooking on low heat. Italians generally prefer their own rice types. The most famous one is the Arborio rice, which takes its name from the town of Arborio. However, if you do not find any of the Italian rice types, you can also prepare your risotto with other rice types as long as you add cracked rice.
As you can see from the recipe below, you can prepare your risotto made from zucchini and sage at home.
Butternut squash & sage risotto
- 1kg butternut squash, peeled and cut into bite-size chunks
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- bunch sage, leaves picked, half roughly chopped, half left whole
- 1½ l vegetable stock
- 50g butter
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 300g risotto rice
- 1 small glass white wine
- 50g parmesan or vegetarian alternative, finely grated
- Heat oven to 220C.
- Toss the squash with the chopped sage in 1 tbsp oil together.
- Scatter into a shallow roasting tin and roast for 30 mins until it is brown and soft.
- Meanwhile, to prepare risotto, bring the stock to the boil and keep on a low simmer.
- In a separate pan, melt half the butter over medium heat. Stir in the onions and cook gently for 8-10 mins until soft but not coloured. Stir the rice into the onions, then stir continuously until the rice is shiny.
- Pour in the wine and simmer until completely evaporated.
- Add the stock, a ladleful at a time, and stirring the rice over low heat for 25-30 mins, until the rice is cooked. The risotto should be creamy and slightly soupy.
- At the same time, gently fry the whole sage leaves in a little olive oil until crisp, then set aside on kitchen paper.
- When the squash is cooked, mash half of it to a rough purée and leave half whole.
- When the risotto is just done, mix through the purée, then add the cheese and butter and leave to rest for a couple of mins.
- Serve the risotto scattered with the whole chunks of squash and the crisp sage leaves.
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