Thursday, March 20, 2008

Risotto with Zucchini

Category: Pasta, Entree
Style: Italian
Difficulty: Medium
Portion: Serves 8 as a main dish, 12 as a starter

2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 large zucchini, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces
3 litres chicken stock
6 tbsp unsalted butter
1 onion, chopped
2 cups Arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
shaved Parmesan cheese for garnish

Melt 2 tbsp butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add zucchini, and season with salt and pepper. Cook until zucchini is just tender and bright green, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Place stock in a large saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and keep warm.
Melt 6 tbsp butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions, and cook, stirring constantly, until they are soft and translucent, about 4 minutes.
Add rice, cook, stirring constantly, until grains are glossy and make a sound like glass beads clicking, 3 to 4 minutes.
Add the wine to rice mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, until wine is completely absorbed by the rice.
Using a ladle, add about 3/4 cup hot stock to the rice. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon at moderate speed until liquid is almost absorbed completely.
Continue adding hot stock 3/4 cup at a time, stirring constantly, until rice is mostly translucent but still opague in the centre, a total of 18 to 25 minutes. As rice nears doneness, watch carefully to make sure it does not overcook.
Remove from heat, and stir in reserved zucchini. You can also add more butter (about 2 tbsp) if you want to. Season with salt and pepper, and garnish with shaved Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

Be careful not to stir too vigorously, or mixture may become gluey.
You may not need to use all of the stock and can add smaller amounts as you go along.
You can also taste test to check the doneness of the rice.

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