Let me introduce you to pre-cooked risotto rice. I have to confess that at first I was a little sceptical about it - I’ve always had a kind of ritualistic approach to risotto making. However, having tried this in my own kitchen, I’ve been blown away by the ease, quality and flavour of this rice. There is certainly no denying it’s provenance, this carnaroli rice is grown in the Po Valley delta, where the river meanders gently towards the sea - it’s often referred as the Italian Camargue.
It probably takes at least half an hour of pretty regular stirring to make a risotto from scratch. I’ve turned to this product over and over again, particularly when I’m short of time and slightly disorganised with my shopping. Teamed up with our fantastic, frozen porcini mushroom sauce cubes, you can bash out a great tasting risotto in about 10 minutes flat. Before I started Somerset Foodie, in my old job, chefs in restaurants and hotels thought this product was amazing. It’s really hard for chefs to turn out a good risotto in a busy commercial kitchen, when all hell is breaking loose, trust me, I know.
Whilst this porcini sauce is really good, you can use the rice to cook a risotto in the traditional way, only loads quicker. It loses a little of its starch during the pre-cooking phase, so you just have to add butter and a little cream at the end to get that silky texture
Serves 2 Good sized portions
300g Pastasi Frozen Pre-cooked Carnaroli Risotto Rice
300g Surgital Frozen Porcini Mushroom Sauce Cubes
1 small onion, finely diced
180ml Hot Vegetable or Chicken Stock
100g Fresh Mushrooms, diced into large chunks (optional)
A good grating of Grana Padano cheese
A small handful of Rocket (optional)
A drizzle of Fussels Truffle Oil (optional)
Start by finely dicing the onion and chopping up the mushrooms into chunks then sweat them down in half the butter and a little rapeseed oil. If you don’t have any fresh mushrooms, don’t worry, just leave them out.
Now add the rice (straight from the freezer) and mix well into the buttery, oniony mix. Next add the stock, increase the heat to get everything gently bubbling. Simmer this for about 2 minutes, the stock should be reducing as the rice absorbs the liquid. Now add the porcini mushroom sauce cubes and bring back to a simmer, stirring as you go.
Let this mixture cook on a medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring every so often. If it looks like it’s getting too dry, add a splash more stock. What you want is the mix to stiffen up and the rice to be cooked through, taste a bit to check. Remember everything keeps cooking once you turn off the heat, so it’s fine if the rice still has a good bite.
Once you are happy with the texture of the rice, turn off the heat, add the other half of the butter and a good grating of Grana Padano cheese. Mix this through and I like to let this stand for a minute or two. Now serve onto plates or bowls, scatter over a few rocket leaves add a drizzle of Fussels Truffle Oil and a final grating of Grana Padano. You’re done, the quickest risotto you’ll ever make but still super tasty.
Enjoy! Ben Tollworthy, Somerset Foodie
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