Monday, August 15, 2011

Saffron & Pea Risotto in Romano Peppers

Saffron and pea risotto was one of my favourite suppers when we lived in the UK. I would make a big pile of it just for myself and standing there and stirring it is a great way to wind down after a hard day at work. Rediscovering this dish as been great like meeting an old friend you haven't seen for a while and wondering why you lost touch in the first place. 

This dish was too stodgy for Singapore's climate not too mention that I could never find the right rice so it is great to be able to enjoy this recipe again. For this recipe I used Carnaroli rice which makes quite a creamy risotto but you could use Arborio  or even better use Vialone Nano instead. I used to throw in a handful of  cheese such as Parmesan at the end which you can do if you are dairy inclined.

A quick warning to those on a gluten free diet I have read that it is not always advisable to order risotto in Italy or traditional Italian restaurants as it is quite common to use pasta water to feed the risotto rice which will contaminate the whole dish with gluten. Not sure how widespread this practice is but worth being aware of as it is certainly not something I would have thought of.

Saffron & Pea Risotto in Romano Peppers (serves 2 with salad)
Vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, dairy free

2 Romano peppers or normal red bell peppers work too
1.5tbs Olive oil (or butter if you can have dairy)
1 Small onion, finely chopped
150g /5.3oz/1cup Carnaroli rice  
75g/2.6oz/ 1/2 cup Frozen peas or petit pois
180ml/6floz/ 3/4 cup white wine (substitute with extra stock if vegan or vegetarian and cannot find vegan wine)
600ml/ 21floz/ 2 1/2 cups Hot vegetable stock (vegan, dairy and gluten free as required)
Pinch of saffron added to the stock
Salt & pepper to taste

  • Preheat the oven to 180 degreesC/350F/gas mark 4. Cut the Romano peppers in half from top to bottom. Remove the seeds and and brush with a little olive oil. Place on a baking sheet and roast until soft whilst you make the risotto.
  • To make the risotto, heat the remaining olive oil in a pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and rice and fry, stirring constantly for a minute or two until the rice turns opaque white but hasn't started to brown. At this point add a couple of ladles of the white wine or stock and stir.
  • Continue to heat over a medium heat and add the peas. Stir the risotto frequently and add more saffron stock a couple of ladlefuls at a time whenever the liquid has been absorbed. Repeat until the rice is cooked through. Taste the risotto and it should be soft and creamy but each grain should hold its shape and not be mushy. The rice needs cooking further if it is chalky or gritty when you bite it.  It should take about 15-20 minutes to cook through.
  • To serve, for each person lay a cooked pepper on a plate and spoon over half the mixture. Serve with salad. 

1 comment:

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