Giuliano Hazan's Risotto Finto has been on my list to try for over a month now. I chose tonight simply because I had everything in the pantry. That I had everything on hand was more luck and a generally well-stocked pantry than any kind of super planning on my part. Hazan's meals are simple and keep my family happy so I return again and again to his cookbook for inspiration.
Dubbed the un-risotto, the dish calls for a rice such as Arborio or Carnaroli, but the preparation is not the same as in a traditional risotto recipe.
1/4 c finely chopped yellow onion (I used more!)
3 T butter (I used EVOO)
1 1/2 C risotto rice (I used Carnaroli)
2 1/4 C beef broth
1 yellow bell pepper
4 oz ground pork
1 cup peeled, diced tomatoes (I used a can)
1 cup frozen, tiny peas (thawed)
Put the onion and 1 1/2 T of butter and heat over medium heat until a rich golden color. Add the rice and stir until well coated. Add broth, cover and cook at a steady simmer for 15 minutes.
While the rice is cooking, peel the bell pepper and cut into long thin strips. Put the remaining 1 1/2 T butter and pork in a skillet and heat over medium-high heat until the pork is lightly browned. Add the bell pepper and continue to cook until tender.
Dice the tomato and add to sauce. Add peas. Season and cook for 5 minutes and remove from heat.
Add the pork sauce to the rice, stir well, cover again and cook for 5 more minutes.
The Dinner Bowl
Husband said dinner reminded him of the Italian Pork Chops his mother used to make. Little bit ate the most. She luvfed it!
The yellow peppers stole the show. Their tender sweetness accented by an occasional pea complemented the savory almost nutty flavor of the rice.
Unbelievable? Nah. But, the un-risotto was a tasty and easy fix for a cold Monday night. Try it, you'll like it.