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.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion chopped finely
- 1 leek finely diced
- 1 or 2 garlic cloves chopped finely
- 1 large carrot peeled and diced
- 1 small butternut squash, peeled and diced
- 1 medium sized courgette, diced
- 350g Arborio rice
- 100ml dry white wine - like Lindeman's Chardonnay
- 1.3l chicken stock
- 140g frozen peas
- a few basil leaves for decoration
- 100g grated Parmesan
- Heat the oil and saute the onion, leek and garlic until soft and golden.
- Add the remaining diced vegetables and continue to saute.
- Add the rice and saute, mixing so all of the rice is 'toasted'.
- Add the wine and allow the rice to absorb the flavour.
- Sage Multicooker method (see below for on the gas method)
- Add the stock and switch the Sage Multicooker to risotto setting. The Multicooker will cook the rice, once it beeps at the end add the frozen peas and stir through. On the arm setting for a couple of minutes will be sufficient to thaw the peas to a delicious crunchy consistency.
- Serve into bowls and garnish with a sprig of basil, offer grated Parmesan.
- Risotto on the stove method
- Once the rice has absorbed the wine, add the stock a couple of ladles at a time and allow the rice to slowly soak it in. Risotto on the stove needs constant attention, stirring frequently to avoid it not sticking and adding ladles of stock when it gets low. Your risotto is cooked when the rice is soft but not soaked.
- Serve and garnish as method above.