Want a Home Cooked Meal? Why Not DIY?

Autumn is here already and before you even have time to realize it you are right back into a busy semester. Don’t we all have those days where you just want to go home and stay in for the evening? If you ever feel like having a relaxed evening at home while still wanting to eat Italian food, why not try cooking something yourself? It might seem like a daunting process at first, but fear not! With a few ingredients and some simple instructions, you can prepare a tasty home cooked Italian meal for yourselves and even call your friends over to try some.

To keep up with the autumn traditions in the country, we suggest you try cooking risotto with funghi porcini. Risotto with funghi porcini is a well loved classic Italian dish, and we hope that you enjoy it as much as we do.

 

Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • Italian risotto: 180g to 200g
  • Porcini mushrooms (dried): 50g
  • Vegetable broth: about 1 litre
  • White Wine: ½ glass
  • White onion: ½
  • Garlic Clove: ½
  • Butter
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Parsley (either fresh or dry)
  • Parmigiano reggiano (grated)

Soak the porcini mushrooms in water before starting the cooking. Do not throw the water away, as it can be subsequently added to the risotto. In the meantime, prepare the vegetable broth and make sure that it is hot.

Then, in a saucepan heat a bit of oil and butter together. Finely chop the onion and garlic and sauté them for a few minutes until the onions are cooked. Drain the mushrooms from their liquid and squeeze them well. Chop into chunks and add them to the saucepan. Cook together for a few minutes with the sauce.

As soon as the mushrooms start becoming soft, add the rice to the pan. Let the rice cook in the sauce, use the white wine to mix all the ingredients together and stir well. Lower the heat slightly and add the vegetable broth to this mixture slowly when the risotto looks dry. Also, at this point add some of the water in which the mushrooms were soaked. This will help give an added flavor to the risotto. Make sure to keep mixing the rice and sauce together without keeping it still.

Once all the water is evaporated, turn off the heat. Add a little more butter and plenty of grated Parmigiano cheese and mix well together. Let it sit for a few minutes before garnishing it with finely chopped parsley and serving it.

We recommended to serve the risotto with white wine.

Risotto Time

Risotto with saffronI’m talking to you very openly: I’m not a good chef at all. But… I am a very good risotto-maker, but it’s the only dish that seems to be impossible to burn!

Now, I wanna let you know HOW I became the best risotto chef of Milan, just describing you my two own specialties!

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups (600g) short grained rice, e.g. Arborio, Carnaroli or Vialone Nano
  • 1 1/2 quarts (1.5 l) good meat broth, boiling hot
  • 2/3 cup (120 g) unsalted butter
  • 2 1/4 ounces (70 g) beef marrow (get this from your butcher, or an oriental market), minced
  • A small onion, finely sliced
  • 1 cup (250 ml) dry white (not oaky) wine, warmed if possible
  • A packet of saffron pistils (about 0.1 g — powdered will do, but pistils are much better)
  • 2 1/3 cups (120 g) grated Parmigiano (half this if you are using the risotto as a bed for ossibuchi)
  • 6 sheets real gold leaf (quite optional, as garnish for a truly extravagant meal) – another option for garnishing is 6 chives

Preparation:

Place the saffron pistils in a bowl to steep with some of the meat broth.

In a casserole, simmer the finely sliced onion and the beef marrow in half the butter over an extremely low flame for about 10 minutes; the onion should become translucent but not brown. Remove the onion and marrow with a slotted spoon and set them aside.

Sauté the rice over a moderate flame for about 7 minutes, stirring constantly lest it stick and burn. About a minute before the rice is done, return the onion mixture to the pot. Stir in the warmed wine, and cook, stirring, until it has completely evaporated. Then stir in a first ladle of the hot broth, and once most has been absorbed, another, stirring and adding liquid until the rice is almost at the al dente stage.

Stir in the saffron pistils, the remainder of the butter, half the cheese, turn of the flame, and let the risotto sit covered for a minute. Then serve it, either as a bed for ossibuchi alla milanese or as a first course, with the remainder of the cheese on the side. If you are serving the risotto with the gold leaf, divvy it into individual portions in the kitchen and carefully lay a sheet of gold over each. Or, you could go with a chive, as is shown here.

Note: When you add the wine, it is very important that it be warm, because the addition of cold liquid will shock the rice and make it flake.

Risotto al salto

It’s hard to believe one could ever have leftover risotto alla milanese. However, stranger things have happened, and this is a traditional way of reworking it. The term, al salto, means toasted; Alessandro Molinari Pradelli says “the tossing is best left to expert cooks who know how to handle a skillet.” The less expert may want to cover the skillet with a lip-free lid, flip everything, and then slide the rice back into the skillet to brown the other side. Dont worry if you will scatter rice all over the stove..just normal procedure!

Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Leftover Risotto alla Milanese
  • Unsalted Butter

Preparation:

This said, to make risotto al salto you will need leftover risotto alla milanese, unsalted butter, and a broad skillet. Melt enough butter to coat the bottom of the skillet and add the rice, spreading it over the skillet to form a flat cake. Cook until the bottom of the cake is gilded, then cover the pan with a lid that doesn’t have a lip. Flip pan and lid, so the risotto comes to rest on the lid, return the pan to the burner, and carefully slide the risotto from the lid back into the pan to sauté the other side as well. If the rice has absorbed all the butter, you may want to add a little more butter to the pan before you return the rice to it. In any case, the rise is done as soon as it has gilded on the other side too.

Serve hot, with a lively white, for example a Bianco di Lugana, or a zesty red, for example a Valpolicella Classico.