Tag Archives: Italian

Risotto Primavera

4 Nov

To add some ‘spring feeling’ to this cold autumn weather, I made us a lovely risotto primavera today. Full of healthy green vegetables, and with a creamy yet light mouthfeel.

Be sure to not rinse the rice! This way you’ll rinse away the starch, and let that be the part that’s needed to create the creamy texture of the risotto. Just throw it into the pan, and let the starch do its work!
There’s also a misunderstanding about risotto: a lot of recipes tell you to stir constantly, but that’s really intensive and unnecessary. Just give the rice a good stir each time you add fresh stock, and let the heat do the rest.

Enjoy, or as the Italians would say: Buon appetito!

Risotto Primavera

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 200g peas (I used frozen ones)
  • 200g zucchini, diced (this is about 1/2 zucchini)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 small garlic cloves
  • 175g risotto rice (Arborio or Carnaroli)
  • 750 ml stock, boiling (I used vegetable)
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp margarine
  • 5 Tbsp hard Italian cheese, grated (eg. Parmeggiano or Grana Padano)
  • pepper
  • some fresh basil leaves for garnishing

Directions

  • Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat
  • Add the zucchini and peas, and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes, until tender
  • Set the zucchini and peas aside, in a bowl or on a plate
  • Re-use the saucepan: sauté the onions and the garlic for about 5 minutes
  • Add the rice and stir until the rice becomes a bit transparent
  • Now pour in the boiling vegetable stock, about a glass (150ml) at a time
  • Each time, give the rice a good stir and then wait for the stock to be absorbed before adding more. This process should take 25 to 30 minutes.
  • When you pour in the last bit of stock; also add the scallions, zucchini and the peas
  • When the risotto is done, turn off the heat and stir in the margarine and the grated Italian cheese. Season with pepper to taste
  • Garnish with some fresh basil leaves

Source: adapted from’Vegetarische keuken, meer dan 100 onmisbare recepten’

Pizza with Cherry Tomatoes

3 Nov

As much as I love pasta, sometimes I also crave a nice pizza… When we have something to celebrate, we normally go to an authentic Italian restaurant here in Ghent (Il Peperoncino in the St-Pietersnieuwstraat or Picobello in the Belfortstraat, they have the same owner). They don’t speak or understand Dutch very well, but the food is amazing!

Since today is a regular Saturday, we stayed at home and I made us a delicious homemade pizza instead! You can top it with anything you like of course, but I like a simple pizza where you can taste the ingredients. So we stayed with mozarella and cherry tomatoes!

Pizza with Cherry Tomatoes

Ingredients (for 2 pizzas)

Dough

  • 150ml luke warm water
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 150g whole wheat flour
  • 125g all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Topping

  • 1 can (400g) tomato cubes
  • 200g mozzarella (I used light)
  • 300g cherry tomatoes, different colours, cut into half
  • 4 tsp oregano
  • pepper
  • salt
  • some fresh basil leaves for garnishing

Directions

  • In a small bowl, combine the luke warm water, the yeast and the sugar. Give it a good stir and set aside for about 5 minutes, until the yeast begins to form bubbles.
  • Sift the all purpose flour, whole wheat flour and salt into a large bowl .
  • Stir in the olive oil and the yeast mixture until the dough is starting to pull away from the bowl (it gets less sticky and is forming a nice ball)
  • Now get the dough out of the bowl and start kneading for about 10-15 minutes.
  • Form a ball with the dough, place it back into the bowl and cover up with a towel.
  • Put aside in a warm place for 1 hour (I always preheat my microwave for a minute and then put my bowl in there).
  • The dough should have doubled in volume after an hour.
  • Knead the dough for another 10 minutes
  • Divide the dough into 2 pieces, and roll them out until you have 2 pizza crusts
  • Spread out the pizza crusts onto a parchment
  • Cover the crusts with a towel and set aside again for 30 minutes
  • Preheat the oven (and the baking sheets) to 220°C
  • Get the preheated baking sheets out of the oven
  • Very carefully slide the parchments with the pizza crustst onto the preheated baking sheets (this way the bottom of the crust will get scorched quickly, and you end up with a crunchy crust)
  • Garnish the crusts with the canned tomato cubes, mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, oregano, pepper and salt
  • Bake the pizzas for 15 minutes (until the cheese has melted nicely)
  • Garnish with some basil leaves

Source: adapted from All Recipes