My simple Italian

Tomato risotto

 
 

Chestnut risotto

35 minutes, serves 4 as a starter.

1 tbsp chopped red onion

1 tbsp chopped celery

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

75g pancetta cubes

1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary, plus extra to garnish

200g Carnaroli risotto rice

1 litre hot, fresh chicken stock

100g vacuum-packed peeled cooked chestnuts, finely chopped

2 shots of brandy

75g unsalted butter

100g Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

freshly ground black pepper

1. In a large heavy-based saucepan, soften the onion and celery in the olive oil with the pancetta and rosemary on a low heat. Add the rice and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes until translucent.

2. Turn up the heat and start adding the hot stock, little by little, stirring continuously and letting each addition be absorbed before adding more. After about 15 minutes, add the chestnuts and brandy, then continue adding the stock and cooking for 5 minutes. When cooked, the rice should still have a bite but no crunch.

3. Add the butter and Parmesan and season with black pepper, then stir until the risotto is creamy. Serve hot, garnished with a few picked rosemary tips.

35 minutes, serves 4 as a starter.

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp chopped red onion

1 tbsp chopped celery

200g Carnaroli risotto rice

1/2 glass of white wine

1 litre hot, fresh chicken stock

1 tbsp chopped parsley

50g unsalted butter

100g Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the tomato sauce

500g ripe plum tomatoes

4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves, sliced

10 basil leaves

1. Start with the tomato sauce. Score the skin of the tomatoes, then put them into a pan of boiling water and leave to blanch for 1 minute. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl of cold water. When cool enough to handle, peel the tomatoes, then remove the seeds and finely chop the flesh.

2. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and fry the garlic briefly. Add the chopped tomatoes and 8 of the basil leaves. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes until the sauce has thickened consistency.

3. Meanwhile, to make the risotto, heat the olive oil in a large heavy-based saucepan and soften the onion and celery on a low heat. Add the rice and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes.

4. Add the wine, increase the heat and stir until it has almost all evaporated. Now start adding the hot stock, little by little, stirring continuously and letting each addition be absorbed before adding more. When cooked, the rice should still have a bite but no crunch.

5. When the risotto is almost ready, add the tomato sauce, parsley, butter and Parmesan, and season with salt and pepper. Stir well until the risotto is creamy. Garnish with the remaining basil leaves, roughly torn, and serve hot.

Risotto with peas, prosciutto and Parmesan

 

45 minutes, serves 4 as a starter or 2 for supper.

100g unsalted butter

2 spring onions, chopped

200g Carnaroli risotto rice

1/2 glass of white wine

1 litre hot, fresh chicken stock

200g shelled fresh peas

5 mint leaves, chopped

150g Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

150g sliced prosciutto di Parma, roughly torn

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Melt half the butter in a heavy-based saucepan and sweat the spring onions on a low heat until soft. Add the rice and stir for 5 minutes until translucent.

2. Add the white wine, turn up the heat and stir until it has almost all evaporated. Add one ladle of hot stock along with the peas and mint, and bubble, stirring, until the liquid has almost all been absorbed. Continue adding stock, little by little, stirring constantly and letting each addition be absorbed before adding more. When cooked the rice should still have a bite but not a crunch.

3. Add the Parmesan, the rest of the butter and the prosciutto with salt and pepper to taste. Stir until the risotto is creamy. Serve topped with shavings of Parmesan cheese.

Risotto with courgette flowers

 

45 minutes, serves 4 as a starter.

6 small courgettes with their flowers attached

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 garlic clove, sliced

1 tsp finely chopped onion

1 tsp finely chopped celery

200g Carnaroli risotto rice

1/2 glass of white wine

1 litre hot, fresh chicken stock

75g unsalted butter

100g Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

1 heaped tbsp roughly torn basil leaves

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Separate the courgettes and their flowers; set the flowers aside. Slice the courgettes into thin rounds. Cook them in 1 tablespoon olive oil with the garlic for about 5 minutes until tender. Set aside.

2. Heat the remaining olive oil in a large heavy-based saucepan. Add the onion and celery and cook on a low heat for 3-4 minutes until soft. Add the rice and stir for 5 minutes until translucent.

3. Add the white wine, turn up the heat and cook until the wine has almost all evaporated. Start adding the hot stock, little by little, stirring continuously and letting each addition be absorbed before adding more. When cooked, the rice should still have a bite but no crunch.

4. Add the cooked courgettes along with their flowers, roughly torn, the butter, Parmesan and basil. Season with salt and pepper. Give the risotto a good final stir so it is really creamy, then serve.

Theo Randall's Italian Kitchen

Badenerstrasse 420

8040 Zurich

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