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spinach risotto – easy way to show your love

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Potatofaces.com: spinach risottoRisotto is one of my favourite dishes. I can’t say my absolute favourite, like I can’t say what my favourite film is- there is just too many amazing ones to choose from.

Here’s the thing though – if you ever go to a posh restaurant where waitresses look like models and you sit on uncomfortable but beautiful to look at chairs, you won’t find anything vegetarian on the menu apart from mushroom risotto. And it’s always the most horrible dish you can ever try and you have to pay for it (honestly, they should pay you for making you eat it). It’s either undercooked or overcooked, looks like grey blob and is tasteless. Trust me, the only good risotto I ate was the one I had in Italy or at my sister’s.

Mmmm…Italy. Heaven for foodies and vegetarians. If I lived there I would die of gluttony…

But back to the point…Risotto is not at all difficult to make. You just need some patience and some wine. Add it to risotto, drink it while you are cooking.

If you don’t drink alcohol, you still need patience …

Here’s the recipe for one I make at least once a week. It’s Boyfriend’s favourite.

Spinach risotto

Ingredients:

2 spoons of olive oil

knob of butter

arborio(or carnaroli) rice

few cloves of garlic

pack of washed spinach

cherry tomatoes

pepper

salt

2 pints of vegetable stock or water

half a glass of white wine

basil

 

1. Warm olive oil in a pot. Always remember to make risotto on medium gas (electrical hob- between 3 and 4)

2. Add knob of butter. After it melts, add crushed garlic (if you don’t have a garlic crusher, just chop the garlic). Stir for a while, add arborio rice. If you are cooking for 2 people , half a glass will be enough, for four people a glass full of rice should be plenty.

3. Stir the rice, let the oil coat the grains. Add 1/3 glass of warm stock or water. Now, the important thing with cooking risotto is patience and luuurve. Well, the first one, technically speaking.

4. Don’t you ever rush to put too much liquid in. Add your water or stock gradually, stir, cover the pot, wait a few minutes till rice absorbs liquid, add some more, repeat every time. It’s good to listen to music when you are cooking risotto, to get you into the rhythm and not to get bored. Let’s face it, it’s a lot of stirring and adding liquid and just hanging around your dish.

5. Add a pinch of sea salt. Add some more liquid. When the rice starts absorbing your stock and it gets thicker, start adding spinach. Cover pot, wait, add some more liquid and more spinach, cover…

6. After you add last bit of spinach add white wine (if you don’t have wine or prefer not to add any, replace it with apple juice. I love wine and usually add more then just half of the glass).

7. Then add some pepper. Stir and wait till it absorbs liquid. If your rice is still not done you can cook longer adding liquid if you need to. If it’s nice and soft, add fresh basil and cherry tomatoes, stir, cover the pot and leave for a few minutes, pre-warm plates, serve with vegetarian parmesan shaves or grated. If you are not vegetarian, knock yourself out with real parmesan.

Bon appetit.

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About potatofaces

People who cook always go on about precious memories of childhood food one of their family members cooked, how daddy or nanny taught them the importance of cooking and eating together, and they still remember the comfort food they produced, amazing dishes whipped up by brilliant but humble cooks in their family. Well, let me tell you, it was totally different in my family. My mother’s family – totally useless as cooks, who could survive on bread and butter, cooked once a week a terrible, terrible meal, usually some kind of meat piece with lots of brown sauce. Also, they were never bothered about eating together. That’s maybe why most of them were depressed and suicidal. My mother followed that path and couldn’t really cook, and because I never wanted to eat meat, was warning me that ‘one day I will regret it’. Probably because my mother wasn’t into cooking my sister at the age of 12 took over and started producing amazing dinners and cakes. Well, luckily for me and her we weren’t that genetically doomed because apparently my father’s family were gifted in that compartment. I can only presume it was genes, as my father divorced my mother when my sis and me were little and he strongly believed that he also divorced us. So, we were growing up never having any contact with him and as a result, couldn’t learn how to cook from him. That’s why I believe the love of cooking ( and the ability) was just passed to us genetically. My father, short time before he died, unexpectedly felt an urge to contact us. First he gave my sister a mandolin (that’s another thing I know about him- he played a few instruments). My sister refused to talk to him, he then decided to contact me and wanted to spend some time with me. I didn’t want to, as he was a stranger to me (I was 11 or 12 at the time) but as I was promised I could leave whenever I wanted to, I went to the village he lived in. There I tried his mother’s cooking everyone was raving about. It was simple and amazing, I wish they were as family dedicated as they were at baking, cooking, making pastries, wine, tinctures, you name it. But I ate, drunk, and got bored of strangers who were my family and demanded to be let to go home. One of the last things my father said to me was that I should start learning English because I might need it one day, which I ignored for another 16 years… Because my sister was such a domestic goddess I wasn’t really bothered about cooking. I got hooked properly after my son was born and I wanted him to eat healthy and get everything he needed, especially that it wasn’t his choice to be a vegetarian (yet). And that is how the story begins…

2 responses »

  1. I choose the wine and patience… to drink it all, but will I be still ok to cook??

    Reply
    • but of course, then you’ll become the master, the capo di tutti capi, the ultimate chef. Just don’t use sharp knives…

      Reply

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