Sunday Pasta®:Risotto alla Milanese (Two Ways)

Sunday Pasta®:Risotto alla Milanese (Two Ways)

Waking up is easy in Italy. No hangovers. No “what have I done” moments. No unattractive surprises. This has nothing to do with excellent wine, superior genes, or meticulous grooming habits. No, it’s easy to wake up in Italy because Italians know that they must face last night’s choices in the morning, and so they don’t jump at the first opportunity, or for that matter drink so much that they just don’t care.  Instead, they show discipline and patience, and always wake up feeling healthy and proud. They then saunter over to the refrigerator and open it, only to realize that they are still madly in love with the leftovers from last night’s dinner. This is because they understand, as a rule, that if the food isn’t really good at night, then it will be scary in the morning.

The genius of la cucina Italiana is that leftovers are merely an opportunity to eat the same delicious food again.  Unlike any processed or junk food, last night’s pasta can be even more delicious the next day. Reheated in a pan with olive oil, it may actually be tastier than the original – and in my house, worth hiding in a corner of the refrigerator. The same is true for Risotto alla Milanese, which is always delicious when piping hot and freshly made. But in the morning light, it too may be even tastier when the leftovers are prepared al salto, or fried into a crispy cake. So delicious, in fact, that you’d be proud to introduce it to your family and friends.

Buon Appetito!

Ed Garrubbo

p.s. Check out our wine pairings to complement this dish.

Sunday Pasta® Recipe:Risotto alla Milanese (Two Ways)
 

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 4-6

Ingredients

2 cups Carnaroli rice (or Arborio)
8+ ounces butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 cup dry white wine
4 cups beef stock (or chicken)
2 packets saffron
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano cheese (or Grana Padano)
 

Instructions

In a saucepan over a low flame, add the saffron to the stock and keep warm. In a large skillet, over medium heat, sauté the onion in a little butter and the olive oil until translucent. Add the rice and stir together until opaque and lightly toasted. Add the wine and let cook for a minute, and then add a ladle of the hot stock. Continue to cook and stir (preferably with a fork) until the liquid is almost fully absorbed. As the liquid absorbs, add more stock, a ladle at a time, waiting until almost completely absorbed before adding more. Cook until rice is al dente, about 15 minutes. Be careful not to overcook the rice. Remove from the skillet from the heat and add the butter and the Parmigiano. Serve immediately (or prepare al salto).

For the Risotto al Salto
 

If using freshly made risotto, it is important to cool it down by spreading it on wax paper on the counter or a cool surface, until warm. Divide it into equal portions of about 1 cup each. Heat a large skillet, preferably non stick. Melt a pat of butter in the center of the pan and set at low heat. Place a portion of the risotto in the center of the pan, and pack it down and shape it into a circle with a spatula. Cook for 3-5 minutes and with the help of a plate, flip it and cook the other side for another 3-5 minutes. It should be golden brown on both sides. Repeat for additional cakes. Serve immediately. (Note, this takes some practice, and keeping the risotto from breaking apart depends on your pan and stove. In addition, it is possible to make a singular, thicker cake by cooking all of the risotto together in a larger pan, and then cut and serve slices.)

Related Posts

Sunday Pasta: Spaghetti con Zucchini

Why is it that most people can pronounce the word “zucchini” with relative ease but can’t seem to manage a proper “bruschetta”?   Believe me, this is not a mere tomato-tomahto, potato-potahto kind of thing; it’s just a flat-out, widespread mispronunciation. Such a beautiful word, so savagely butchered. It’s like Ellis Island all over again. Over and over again. Of course, it would be too easy to blame our nemesis The Olive Garden (a.k.a.   Read more >

Sunday Pasta®: Strangozzi con le Capesante (Scallops)

It happened one day. On a cold gray Saturday in January, during the journey from Slovenia to Venice, in a car, driven by the thought of lunch on the Grand Canal.  The rest is a dreamlike blur: See sign for the Italian border. Forget Venice, too far away. Take first exit, Trieste. Wander to find Menarosti, Antico Ristorante dal 1903. Enter an unassuming doorway to find tables full of Italians eating, talking, and laughing. In the back room, nonna was shelling crabs by hand. Mother and daughter kept watch over the dining room, while son was in the kitchen. After a brief conversation about all the fish that came in that morning from the lagoon, eight delicious courses followed: various fish, shrimp, clams, scallops, fried, raw, baked, with pasta…and local Friulano wine too.  I thought about karma and how there would surely be payback for my good fortune.  As usual, I decided to keep that worry for another day, or at least until after espresso.   Read more >

Sunday Pasta™: Fusilli con Funghi, Pancetta e Pinoli (Mushrooms and Pine Nuts)

I have no idea where this recipe comes from. I know that my mamma has been making it deliciously for decades, but from there its origins are obscure. Maybe it hails from a quaint village in northern Italy. Or just maybe it hails from a quaint village in northern New Jersey. Hmm… Either way, to me it is a quintessentially fall or winter dish. Pinoli (pine nuts), pancetta, and fresh mushrooms combine to serve up the colors, tastes, and smells of a cool crisp day.   Read more >

Comments

In order to comment on BlogHer.com, you'll need to be logged in. You'll be given the option to log in or create an account when you publish your comment. If you do not log in or create an account, your comment will not be displayed.