What mother wouldn’t love the sight of an empty bowl? Tonight was Risotto Night and this time it was Mario Batali’s Risotto alla Milanese or Saffron Risotto. DS had two bowlfuls and I almost shed a tear from sheer joy. The recipe is from one of my favorite cookbooks, Molto Italiano. I may be stretching it by calling it juk, but risotto has that creamy porridge-y consistency. Anyway, roasted fennel accompanied the risotto, but I didn’t want to push my luck with that one with DS.
1 teaspoon saffron threads
8 cups chicken stock or broth, heated until hot
1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
2-4 tablespoons unsalted buttah
1/2 cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano, plus more for serving
Add saffron to the hot stock, stirring to infuse.
In a 10- to 12-inch saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat until almost smoking. Add the onion and cook until softened and translucent but not browned, 8-10 minutes. Add the rice and stir with a wooden spoon until toasted and opaque, 3-4 minutes.
Add the wine, then add a 4- to 6-ounce ladleful of stock and cook, stirring, until the liquid is absorbed. Continue stirring and adding the stock a ladleful at a time, waiting until the liquid is absorbed each time before adding more, until the rice is tender and creamy yet still a little al dente, about 18 minutes (you may have a little stock left over).
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the buttah and Parmigiano until well mixed. Serve with additional Parmigiano. About 4 servings.
This recipe for roasted fennel is super easy. I based it on one of Giada’s recipes. It also tastes great cold on the second day!
2 fennel bulbs, trimmed
salt & pepper
About 1/2 cup (or more) of freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut the fennel bulbs in 1/2- to 3/4-inch slices. Arrange the slices in a baking dish and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Make sure both sides are coated. Then sprinkle generously with Parmigiano. Bake until fork-tender and golden brown or about 45-50 minutes. Serve immediately. 2-3 servings.