So for dinner last night I made a trusted favourite of mine - risotto! sooo easy and soo yummy AND with red wine! sounds funny to some people but the Italians do this so it must be right. I usually use white wine in my risotto - to keep the flavours light and fresh, especially when using seafood. With this risotto, the red wine provides a warm, deeper flavour and matches well with sauteed radicchio, fresh peas and/or borlotti beans - basically any rich, velvety vegetable or legume. Giada De Laurentiis (an Italian American tv chef) has a great recipe that I tweak a little depending on what I feel like. Risotto seems time consuming but it's one of those 'one pot wonders' - that isn't mushy and old fashioned. And it sounds so much more fancy than it is.
red wine risotto with grilled red peppers, portobello mushrooms and borlotti beans
serves 3-4 depending on how much you love it
1 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup red wine - use red wine you would drink and I prefer full-bodied reds
1 cup - chopped leek (use onion if you don't have any), carrots and celery
1/2 cup peas - use fresh if you can, frozen works just fine too
a few garlic cloves
freshly grated parmesan cheese
2-3 cups (depending) of vegetable stock
1/2 cup borlotti beans (use canned if you didn't soak and cook them)
I use a bbq to grill red peppers and mushrooms - I grill them with a little olive oil and that's it. Use a hot oven or stovetop grill if you don't have a bbq. Remove skin from peppers and keep them aside for later.
I start with keeping the stock on at a medium/low heat (use fresh stock if you have it, or bought if you don't). Then put a large enough pot on medium heat - with olive oil (1 - 2 tbsp) sweat onions, celery, carrots together for 6-7 minutes then add finely chopped garlic and cook for another 1 minute.
Add the rice and cook 2 mins until toasted a little (don't brown it). Add the red wine and let it get somewhat absorbed by the rice (2 mins or so), then add a little hot stock (one ladle of stock - don't worry about the exact amount, the rice will let you know when it's full!) Cook a few minutes until absorbed and then do the same at least two more times until the rice becomes creamy. At this point (just when the rice still has some bite) add in all the vegetables and the borlotti beans, add in chopped dill (to taste) and 1/4 cup parmesan.
Stir and add in the last bit of stock - cover 2 mins. Once finished, ladel out into big bowls, add more fresh parmesan, fresh black pepper and fresh chopped parsley...so good. I promise you'll love it.