I love risotto and have tried many many different kinds including with stinging nettles and even strawberries and gold leaf once which was a real eye opener and delicious too.
Contrary to popular belief risotto is really simple to make and the traditional Italian method needs a constant eye during the 20 minute cooking time which is why restaurants in Italy often only offer risotto for a minimum of two people.
Risotto is also extremely versatile, you can add practically anything in and come up with an excellent tasty meal. One of my friends from Bologna taught me that with any leftover sauce and meat from the Sunday roast could be the perfect ingredients for a Monday risotto, a tip I have used many a time with leftover gravy and bits of meat chopped up fine.
One of my all time favourite risottos has to be the risotto primavera which uses a collection of fresh vegetables. You will find many different recipes on the net but basically primavera means Spring so a mix of any vegetables that are in season would be perfect. For this particular risotto primavera I used onion, carrot, courgette, squash and peas but once you gain confidence you will see there are endless combinations of risottos to dream up
As you know I have been sent a fabulous Sage Multi Cooker and one of the settings is for risotto, having learnt the traditional method I will admit to being sceptical as to what kind of risotto it would produce, a risotto needs to absorb the liquid slowly and it needs adding ladle by ladle to ensure the perfect ‘chicco di riso’ how could this work?
Well the only way was to try it out and I am a changed woman, it produced the fluffiest, tastiest risotto that didn’t stick to the bottom of the pan either!
There again Heston Blumenthal wouldn’t put his name to it would he unless it was a serious piece of kit.
In fact reading on the site you learn that the Sage Multi Cooker risotto setting has a unique cooking system…
It produces risotto by agitating the rice grains with bubbles to release the starch and create a creamy texture, turning itself off once ready. Simple, delicious, home made risotto, without even stirring.
As for timings I had to use the risotto setting twice to cook it to perfection but I am a learner and time will help me get the quantities and timings right I’m sure. Fact is my risotto was spot on Sage Appliances, spot on.
So here’s the first on the series of my Sage Multi cooker recipes
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 1 carrot diced small
- 250g arborio rice
- 1 glass of white wine
- 1 courgette diced small
- 1/2 squash diced small
- 1 l chicken or vegetable stock
- salt and pepper to taste
- fresh basil leaves
- 50g grated parmesan plus extra for serving
- handful of frozen peas
- 25g butter
- With the Multi cooker on the sauté setting
- Sauté the onions and carrots until the onion has softened.
- Add the rice and sauté for a couple of minutes.
- Add the white wine and let the rice absorb it
- Add the other vegetables to the mix and sauté for a few minutes mixing the ingredients well.
- Add the stock, seasoning, basil leaves and switch the Multi Cooker to the Risotto setting, put the lid on and leave
- Stir the rice after about 10 minutes, check the liquid levels if it's getting too dry add some more
- (My Multi cooker switched off at this point and the rice wasn't cooked so I started the risotto setting again)
- Add the cheese and the frozen peas and leave to continue cooking
- Add 25g butter for 'mantecare il risotto' trust me this will make it even more creamy and delicious.
- Once completed the multi cooker will beep and switch itself onto Keep Warm setting.
- The risotto is ready to serve, sprinkle with parmesan.
- Fresh asparagus tips are perfect to add to this recipe, (I had some and forgot about them!)
- Risotto is best eaten immediately as the rice will continue to absorb any moisture. If reheating be careful not to overheat or overcook.