Riso: Undiscovered Rice Dishes of Northern Italy

Riso: Undiscovered Rice Dishes of Northern Italy

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by Gioietta Vitale, Lisa Lawley
     
 

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One hundred quick and simple rice recipes capturing the flavor and excitement of traditional Italian cooking

From soups and salads to risottos and desserts, Gioietta Vitale presents the best of northern Italy's rice-based specialties. Illustrated with line drawings and filled with tips on ingredients, techniques, and even the perfect wine to go with each

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Overview

One hundred quick and simple rice recipes capturing the flavor and excitement of traditional Italian cooking

From soups and salads to risottos and desserts, Gioietta Vitale presents the best of northern Italy's rice-based specialties. Illustrated with line drawings and filled with tips on ingredients, techniques, and even the perfect wine to go with each dish, Riso is a comprehensive guide to rice by a master of Italian cuisine.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781453246337
Publisher:
Open Road Integrated Media LLC
Publication date:
03/13/2012
Pages:
150
Product dimensions:
9.20(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.70(d)

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Riso

Undiscovered Rice Dishes of Northern Italy


By Gioietta Vitale

OPEN ROAD INTEGRATED MEDIA

Copyright © 1992 Gioietta Vitale
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4532-4627-6



CHAPTER 1

Minestre

SOUPS


The foundation of a great soup is great broth. And the best broth, we all know, is homemade broth. Though it's not difficult to make, homemade broth does require time and patience—two commodities quite rare these days.

However, if you do prepare your own broth (and I hope you will), your efforts will be rewarded. The following two simple guidelines will make you wonder why you ever considered making broth difficult or not worthwhile:

1. Keep in mind that broth is best when light in taste. To achieve this lightness, use meat free of excess fat—and above all, use good-quality ingredients. This is very important, since you will be using your homemade broth for tasty risotti, soups, and other dishes. You do not want to spoil your cooking with broth that is anything less than first-rate. By educating your palate to simple, genuine taste by using prime meat products, fresh herbs, and ripe produce, you will come to understand that quality is far more important than quantity. And if you understand this, then you are already a good cook.

2. As long as you are taking the time to prepare homemade broth, make a large quantity. You can freeze whatever you don't need immediately in convenient portions for later use.

If you find that you have no homemade broth on hand, my preferred storebought alternative is Knorr's bouillon cubes.


Brodo di Carne

MEAT BROTH

This recipe features a combination of meats that I like, but feel free to vary the proportions to suit your taste.

2 pounds chicken parts, excess fat removed
2 pounds boneless veal, fat removed
2 pounds boneless beef, fat removed
1 pound beef bones
4 teaspoons salt
2 medium onions, peeled
2 celery stalks
2 large carrots, peeled
1 small potato, cut into quarters


Rinse the chicken, veal, beef, and bones under cold running water.

Place 4 quarts water and the salt in a large stockpot. Bring water to a boil over high heat, then add the chicken, veal, beef, bones, salt, and vegetables and return to a full boil.

After 5 minutes, reduce the heat to low and allow the broth to simmer very slowly, with only an occasional bubble breaking the surface, about 2 ½ hours. Skim foam from the top from time to time.

Remove the meat and vegetables from the pot. Strain the broth through a fine linen towel or double thickness of cheesecloth, then refrigerate. When the broth is chilled, skim any solidified fat from the surface.

Use fresh broth as needed. Store leftover broth in plastic containers in the refrigerator or freezer. Broth will keep 4 to 5 days in the refrigerator and up to 1 month in the freezer.

MAKES 3 TO 4 QUARTS


Brodo di Pollo

CHICKEN BROTH

1 whole chicken (about 3 pounds)
1 tablespoon salt
2 medium onions, peeled
2 celery stalks
1 medium potato, cut into quarters


Rinse the chicken in cold water and cut off any visible fat.

Place 3 quarts water and the salt in a stockpot large enough to hold all ingredients comfortably. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Add the chicken and vegetables and cook at a full boil for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the broth very slowly for about 2 hours, skimming the foam from time to time.

After 2 hours, remove the chicken from the broth with a slotted spoon. (The chicken may well be in pieces at this point.) Strain the broth through a colander lined with 2 layers of cheesecloth or a kitchen towel and refrigerate the strained broth. When the broth is chilled, skim off any fat that has accumulated on the surface. Store broth in containers in the refrigerator or freezer. Broth will keep 4 to 5 days in the refrigerator and up to 1 month in the freezer.

NOTE: I usually make a chicken salad with the broth meat. I discard all the bones and cut the chicken into bite-size pieces. Then I add some olive oil, some minced parsley, a couple of olives, and salt and pepper to taste.

MAKES 3 QUARTS


Brodo di Verdura

VEGETABLE BROTH

This kind of stock is very handy for making vegetable-based risotti—or any other dishes you want to give a light, delicate flavor.

3 celery stalks
3 medium carrots
3 leeks, white parts only
2 medium tomatoes
3 bunches fresh spinach
1 bunch fresh parsley
2 medium onions
4 fresh basil leaves
½ tablespoon salt


Wash the vegetables, paying special attention to the leeks and spinach. Peel and trim the vegetables as necessary, making certain to remove the tough stems from the spinach, and cut the celery, carrots, and leeks into 3-inch lengths.

Place the vegetables in a large stockpot with the basil and the salt. Add 4 quarts water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer at least 1 ½ hours, skimming any foam from the top as necessary.

Remove the stock from the heat and strain through a wire strainer lined with cheesecloth. Allow the stock to cool. You can use the stock immediately, or refrigerate or freeze for later use. The stock will keep 4 or 5 days in the refrigerator and up to 1 month if frozen.

MAKES 1 ½ TO 2 QUARTS


Brodo di Pesce

FISH BROTH

2 pounds fish bones, heads, and/or trimmings from any delicate white fish
1 bottle dry white wine
½ cup fresh lemon juice
1 medium onion, peeled
2 bay leaves
1 bunch fresh parsley
3 medium carrots, cut into pieces
1 teaspoon salt


Place all the ingredients in a large stockpot with 2 quarts cold water. Cover and simmer for about 1 hour. Strain broth through a colander lined with 2 layers of cheesecloth or a kitchen towel. Refrigerate the strained broth and store in containers in refrigerator or freezer. Broth will keep 4 to 5 days in the refrigerator and up to 1 month in the freezer.

MAKES ABOUT 2 QUARTS


Minestrina di Riso e Prezzemolo

RICE SOUP WITH PARSLEY

2 ½ quarts Meat, Chicken, or Vegetable Broth, or 2 ½ quarts water plus 2 bouillon cubes and ½ tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup Arborio rice
5 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
Salt to taste
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Place the broth (or water, bouillon cubes, and butter) in a large stockpot and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the rice to the broth, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer, checking for doneness after about 16 minutes. Rice should be al dente, or firm to the bite; do not overcook.

When the rice is done, stir in the parsley and salt to taste. Serve immediately, with Parmesan cheese at the table.

SERVES 4


Minestrina di Riso e Porri

RICE SOUP WITH LEEKS

1 medium leek 1 ½ quarts Meat, Chicken, or Vegetable Broth, or 1 ½ quarts water plus 2 bouillon cubes and 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
½ cup Arborio rice
Salt to taste
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Thoroughly wash and trim the leek, checking carefully to see that all sand has been removed, then cut it into bite-size chunks.

Place the broth (or water, bouillon cubes, and butter) in a large stockpot and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the rice and leek, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer, checking the rice for doneness after about 16 minutes. Rice should be al dente, or firm to the bite; do not overcook.

Taste, and add salt if needed. Serve immediately, with Parmesan cheese at the table.

SERVES 4


Minestrina di Riso con Punte d'Asparago

RICE SOUP WITH ASPARAGUS TIPS

2 ½ quarts Meat, Chicken, or Vegetable Broth, or 2 ½ quarts water plus 2 bouillon cubes and 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 ½ cups Arborio rice
8 asparagus tips, trimmed
Salt to taste


Place the broth (or the water, bouillon cube, and butter) in a large stockpot and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the rice and asparagus tips, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer, checking the rice for doneness after about 16 minutes. Rice should be al dente, or firm to the bite; do not overcook.

Taste, and season with salt, if needed. Serve immediately.

SERVES 4


Minestrina di Riso e Spinaci

SPINACH-RICE SOUP

1 ½ pounds fresh spinach, or 1 10-ounce package frozen spinach, thawed
1 quart Meat, Chicken, or Vegetable Broth, or 1 quart water plus 2 bouillon cubes and 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup Arborio rice
Salt to taste
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Carefully wash the fresh spinach in cool water, repeating several times. Dry each leaf individually with a clean kitchen towel to make sure all dirt and sand has been rinsed away. This is very important, since even a grain or two of sand will ruin the soup.

Place the broth (or the water, bouillon cubes, and butter) in a large stockpot and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the fresh or frozen spinach and the rice, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer, checking the rice for doneness after about 16 minutes. Rice should be al dente, or firm to the bite; do not overcook.

Taste, and add salt if needed. Serve immediately, with Parmesan cheese at the table.

SERVES 4


Minestra di Riso e Piselli

SOUP WITH RICE AND PEAS

5 cups Meat, Chicken, or Vegetable Broth, or 5 cups of water plus 2 bouillon cubes and 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
½ cup Arborio rice
2 cups shelled fresh peas, or 1 10-ounce package frozen early peas, thawed
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
Salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste


Place 4 cups of the broth (or water, bouillon cubes, and butter) in a large stockpot and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the rice and peas, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer.

Meanwhile, place the remaining 1 cup broth in a small saucepan over medium heat. In a small skillet over medium heat melt the butter. Add the flour and stir briskly with a wooden spoon until the roux turns light brown. Add the 1 cup broth a little at a time, continuing to stir, until a smooth béchamel sauce forms.

When the rice is almost done, after about 16 minutes, add the béchamel sauce to the soup and continue to cook an additional 3 minutes or so, until thickened. Rice should be al dente, or firm to the bite; do not overcook.

Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

SERVES 4


Minestra di Riso e Pomodori

TOMATO-RICE SOUP

3 large tomatoes, peeled and sliced
5 cups Meat or Chicken Broth, or 5 cups of water plus 2 bouillon cubes and 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
½ cup Arborio rice
3 fresh basil leaves
Salt to taste


Place the broth (or water, bouillon cubes, and butter) in a large stockpot and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the tomatoes and the rice, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer, checking the rice for doneness after about 16 minutes. Rice should be al dente, or firm to the bite; do not overcook.

When the rice is done, add the basil. Taste for doneness and season with salt, if needed. Serve immediately.

SERVES 4


Minestrina di Riso e Latte

MILK-RICE SOUP

When I was a child, this was the only soup I would voluntarily eat. Now I like to serve it as the first course of a light dinner, followed by vegetables and cheeses.

2 ½ quarts milk (whole, low-fat, or skim)
1 cup Arborio rice
½ tablespoon lightly salted butter
Salt to taste


Place the milk in a large stockpot and bring to a boil over medium heat.

Add the rice and simmer, checking for doneness after about 16 minutes. Rice should be al dente, or firm to the bite; do not overcook.

Add the butter and season with salt if needed. Serve immediately.

SERVES 4


Minestra di Riso e Verdure

VEGETABLE-RICE SOUP

1 medium onion, peeled
3 medium carrots, peeled
2 medium turnips, peeled
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 ½ quarts Meat, Chicken, or Vegetable Broth, or 1 ½ quarts water plus 2 bouillon cubes and 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
½ cup Arborio rice
Salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Finely dice the onion, carrots, and turnips.

Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the vegetables and sauté until well coated with oil, about 1 minute.

Add the broth (or water, bouillon cubes, and butter) and increase the heat to high. When the stock is boiling, add the rice, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer, checking the rice for doneness after about 16 minutes. Rice should be al dente, or firm to the bite; do not overcook.

When the rice is done, season the soup with salt and pepper and stir in the parsley.

Serve immediately, with Parmesan cheese at the table.

SERVES 4


Minestrina di Riso al Limone

LEMON-RICE SOUP

5 cups Meat, Chicken, or Vegetable Broth, or 5 cups water plus 2 bouillon cubes and 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
½ cup Arborio rice
3 large eggs
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt to taste


Place the broth (or water, bouillon cubes, and butter) in a large stockpot and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the rice, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer, checking the rice for doneness after 16 minutes. Rice should be al dente, or firm to the bite; do not overcook.

Beat the eggs with the lemon juice and season lightly with salt.

When the rice is just done, stir the eggs into the soup and serve immediately.

SERVES 4


Minestrina di Riso e Fegatini di Pollo

RICE SOUP WITH CHICKEN LIVERS

½ pound chicken livers
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 ½ quarts Meat, Chicken, or Vegetable Broth, or 5 cups water plus 2 bouillon cubes and 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup Arborio rice
Salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Wash and dry the chicken livers and cut them into thin slices.

Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium heat until foamy. Add the chicken livers and sauté until they lose their pink color, about 3 minutes.

Place the broth (or water, bouillon cubes, and butter) in a large stockpot and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the rice, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer 12 minutes.

Add the sautéed chicken livers to the broth, season with salt and pepper, and simmer an additional 4 minutes, checking the rice for doneness. Rice should be al dente, or firm to the bite; do not overcook.

When the rice is done, stir in the parsley and serve immediately, with Parmesan cheese at the table.

SERVES 4


Minestrone alla Milanese

Whereas in other regions of Italy they put pasta in their minestrone, in Milan we use rice. Another traditional Milanese ingredient is lard, but here I've used olive oil, which is more to my taste. Minestrone is equally good served hot, cold, or at room temperature. It is particularly delicious the next day.

3 tablespoons olive oil
½ garlic clove, minced
1 large onion, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
2 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
2 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
3 small zucchini, chopped
½ pound string beans, trimmed and chopped
1 cup shelled peas
1 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
2 cups dried black-eyed peas, soaked overnight (see Note)
1 cup coarsely chopped green cabbage
1 ½ cups Arborio rice
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot, then add all the ingredients except the cabbage, rice, and Parmesan. Sauté for about 10 minutes. Add 2 quarts of water and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer the soup for at least 2 hours.

Add the cabbage and bring the soup back to a boil. Add the rice to the soup and boil for an additional 16 minutes. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese at the table.

NOTE: When using dried beans, pick them over carefully and discard any that look discolored. You should also stay away from beans that are over a year old. Place the beans in a large pot and add 1 teaspoon baking soda and lots of lukewarm water, since the beans will absorb water as they soak. Leave for 12 hours before using.

SERVES 6 TO 8


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Riso by Gioietta Vitale. Copyright © 1992 Gioietta Vitale. Excerpted by permission of OPEN ROAD INTEGRATED MEDIA.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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