RICE: ITALY MADE IT UNIQUE!
If you think about rice, Italy is most likely not the first country you would associate it with. Yet, our culinary traditions have developed recipes using this main ingredient that are enjoyed around the world. First and foremost there is Risotto, but we must also mention the “arancino siciliano” and the less known supplí from Rome. And during the summer, what brings together the North and South, besides gelato, is the famous “Insalata di riso.”
RISOTTO IS A LIFESTYLE
You really have to love food and have some level of culinary prowess in order to successfully make a good risotto because it takes time and a lot of attention. Still, once you have the finished product on the table, you will see – and taste - that it was worth every effort. First, you have to choose the best rice. We suggest Carnaroli because the grains stay separated. You must also choose with careful attention all the complementary ingredients. It takes time, usually around 40 minutes, because you need to add the broth slowly without forgetting to stir it often and to steam with white wine (on high heat). Mistakes we suggest to avoid are: don’t pour the broth all together and be careful to not overcook the rice. If you are not confident in your approach, we suggest you do not cook vegetables and rice together because the differing times they each require to cook can be quite tricky.
RISOTTO – RECIPIES A PLENTY
The most famous risotto is, of course, the risotto alla milanese. It’s very simple, so it´s a good recipe to begin with if are new to cooking risotto. The main ingredients are saffron and Parmigiano cheese. We suggest to use a hearty chicken broth. Another traditional dish is risotto with mushrooms; a good choice if you are looking for a vegetarian option. Then there is risotto with tomato sauce, which is easy to make, delicious and perfect when you want to save time and money. A recipe that can be more expensive is risotto alla pescatora, which is as seafood risotto. For this, you need at least three kinds of fish and it takes time because you have to clean and prepare the seafood. But once prepared, it is one of the most delicious dishes known to the Italian culinary tradition. The are many more recipes, you need just to be creative and to choose the best rice. At Magnifico we have you covered. Try the extraordinary rice of Tenuta Margherita, a farmhouse in Piemonte region with more than 100 years of history!
Among the many, many reasons to love Sicily, one is certainly for the Arancini. There are many different kinds, but the original is made with rice, tomato sauce, meat and mozzarella, coated with bread crumbs and then deep fried. It can be round or conical, a shape reminiscent of the Etna volcano.
AND FOR THE LEFTOVERS OF LOVERS...
If you have some risotto left over, the next day you can make a delicious frittata; an easy –to-make omelet, perfect for the last minute appetite. You just need to put together the rice with some eggs and mozzarella. Cook stovetop for a few minutes and… il pranzo é servito, the lunch is ready!
- Donatella Mulvoni