Thursday, February 16, 2012

Easy Risotto - Lentils

Ah, risotto... I remember, as a child, it was one of the few pre-packed things we would eat. From the bag, a wonderful Milanese Risotto would come out. Once in a very long time!!! My mother has never been a fan of ready to eat stuff, it was (and still is) expensive and full of preservatives.

So, I decided to give risotto a try. I saw I have plenty of dried lentils in my stockpile and some pieces of Parma Ham. If you don't have Parma Ham you can use another meat or no meat at all. You'll have a great winter main course, complete with proteins and carbohydrates.

1/2 cup of Arborio rice for each person
1/2 cup of dried lentils for each person
1 can of tomato "passata" or cubes
Olive Oil
1/4 litre of water for each person
1 small onion
(optional Parma Ham cubes)

Ok, so first thing first, is placing a couple of spoonfuls of olive oil in a pot, adding the ham (if using any) and the lentils. Let this fry for only a few seconds and then add the water and the tomato.
This will be the base. So think about all the possibilities this opens up! You can make the base with ANYTHING!!!

When the lentils are almost cooked, place the chopped onion in a large frying pan with the olive oil and let it get soft but not brown.
Then add the rice and "toast it" for a couple of minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon.
At this point, add the liquid part of your base and let the rice cook.
When the rice is almost ready, add the solid part of the base. Then serve with grated Parmesan on top. It's superb on a wintery evening, and makes you feel so full!!!
The good thing about risotto is that, surprise, it cooks itself! What I mean is that I start the base, I check it again in 10-15 minutes and find it is almost done. At this point I put the pan on and in two minutes the rice is in and it's on its way already. No stirring, no worries! In 15 more minutes I add the solid part of the base and put everything on the table.

While I was soooo busy "cooking" I had the chance to sit with my son and chit-chat about his day at school.

Once more: I LOVE RISOTTO!!!


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