Whenever I don't know what to cook for lunch and I don't want pasta I usually make a speedy risotto.
I literally throw in whatever I find in the kitchen, often leftover vegetables, frozen peas, or saffron with bits of ham. Anything goes really and a generous sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan always brings out the flavour.
To make a smooth and silky risotto you need to add a knob of butter at the end when the rice is cooked. One thing I have learned is to use good quality butter (organic if possible) as you will taste it in your risotto. Good butter makes a big difference.
This risotto, which you can serve at valentine or you can make it anyday of the week is very simple to prepare. Remember to add the prawns during the last couple of minutes of cooking. When they look pink in colour than they are ready. If you overcook them they will be chewy.
After the risotto I cooked some fish fillets in the oven and served them on a bed of polenta and finely chopped cooked vegetables. This meal was for a special family dinner which we all enjoyed very much.
This recipe serves four.
- Prep Time : 20 minutes
- Cook Time : 25 minutes
Make the stock by dissolving the stock cube in 1 Liter - 1.05 qt of boiling water.
Wash the pepper, remove seeds and filaments and chop it. Stir fry the onion with 2 tbsp of olive oil and then add the pepper stirring well.
Add the rice, salt and pepper, wine and slowly add the broth stirring all the time.
Keep topping up with the broth and continue cooking for about 15 to 18 minutes or until packet instructions. Add the prawns and the chopped parsley during the last 2 minutes of cooking. The prawns are cooked when they look pink.
Switch off the heat and add a knob of butter and mix it well in.
Serve warm. If you have a heart shaped pastry cutter you could shape your risotto in a "valentine theme".
Italians usually have a first course which is pasta or rice followed by a "secondo" or second course which is often fish or meat. I cooked some fish fillets in the oven with a drizzle of olive oil and fresh thyme and served them with polenta and cooked vegetables which I stirred fried in a pan with a little bit of onion and olive oil. It was indeed a tasty meal!