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Pining for pasta? Risotto to the rescue!

I am Italian.  Twenty five percent.  My stomach is certain that it is more like ninety percent.  My husband and I have lost quite a bit of weight over the past few years, and he is convinced that it is because we made a conscious effort to take pasta out of our diet.  Now this does not sit well with the Italian in me at times.  I just love pasta, any kind of pasta, but when I make it, he will not eat it.

I have now turned to Risotto to help me get through the unfortunate breakup between me and rigatoni.  And yes, I realize that it is no more or no less healthy than pasta, but that thing is, when I add veggies and seasonings to it, my husband does not even think about the fact that he is, for all intents and purposes, eating pasta.

So here are some ideas for you to chew on while the creamy grains of risotto melt in your mouth…

  • Substitute chicken broth or wine for some of the water that you will be adding to the risotto.  If you choose to use wine, please bear in mind that you should really use wine that you would enjoy drinking.  I made risotto last week, and I used a cheap bottle that had been sitting around, and I totally ruined the flavor.
  • Add veggies that you need to use up to your risotto.  I have been frequenting The Morris Marketplace every Sunday, and have become a devotee of Chef Chris and his organic goodies grown on site at Winvian.  Have some bell peppers that you don’t know what to do with?  Roast em, cut em, and add them to your pot.  Pair your veggies with shredded chicken, sausage, or diced flank steak, and you will have a hearty protein filled meal.
  • Finish your risotto off with a generous addition of cheese.  Same rule applies here for the cheese as for the wine:  if you wouldn’t eat it on it’s own, don’t add it to your risotto!
  • And if you want to get really crazy, invest in a Emile Henry Risotto Pot, like the one that I use from Emile Henry.  It is shaped allow for gentle stirring and even heating.  It cleans up like a dream, ad can be used on any cooktop surface.

Some of my favorite risotto combinations:

Sweet Italian Sausage and Roasted Red Peppers

Leek & Butternut Squash

Kale, Sausage & Garlic

Flank steak, mushroom and peas

So the next time you want a hearty meal that satisfies your deep seated need for comfort food, try cooking up a batch of risotto.  You will be glad that you did!

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