Apparently, risotto is a romantic dish.
I totally didn’t know that it was until I was talking to a coworker about making a classic, Italian risotto: arborio rice, white wine, and a bunch of parmesan cheese. He said, “That sounds awesome! What’s the occasion?”
There’s no occasion. I don’t need an occasion to make and eat a damn good risotto and it was actually a lot cheaper than you might think. Of course, I sort of made it a fancier occasion by picking out a nice local Chardonnay by Vintage Ink and plated the risotto pretty nicely.
It’s nice to be classy sometimes, yaknow?
In a restaurant, this dinner for two would easily come up to $90 after tax and tips. (Or more, depending on the restaurant!)
I paid about $35, but I had to buy more of some ingredients full sized because of packaging and I included the whole bottle of wine. Here’s my cost break down, including the store:
- Arborio rice – $3.40 for 450g (Bulk Barn)
- Chicken broth – $2.00 for 1L (on sale, diluted slightly, Loblaws)
- Frozen peas – $2.49 for 750g (only need 1 cup, Loblaws)
- Green onion – $1.29 for about 5 stalks (only need 2, Loblaws)
- Cooking onion – $0.57 for 1 medium onion (only need half, Loblaws)
- Parmigiano reggiano – $4.75 for 88g (pre-shaved in house, Loblaws)
- Prosciutto, shaved – $3.17 for 74g (PC brand, Loblaws)
- Chardonnay – $16.95 for 750mL (Vintage Ink, LCBO)
Since I only needed fractions of some ingredients, the actual cost is probably closer to $30 with the wine included.
You could easily get an $11 bottle of wine and it would work just the same, but I like to drink and cook at the same time, so there you go.
The end result? Lots of cuddles and relaxation with the Monsieur. I guess risotto really can be quite romantic… (Or it’s the wine!)
Prociutto and Pea Risotto
Makes: 4 portions
Takes: About 1hr, including prep
1 3/4 cup arborio rice (approx. 400g)
1/2 medium onion, finely diced
1/2 cup dry white wine (I used Chardonnay, but feel free to use something else)
1 1/2 L chicken broth, low sodium or less
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
75g parmigiano reggiano, sliced or fresh grated
70g prosciutto, finely sliced, cut into smaller pieces
2 tbsp green onions, finely sliced on a slant
2 tbsp olive oil
0. Warm chicken stock until almost boiling. Add vegetable scraps from prep into broth for extra flavour.
1. Heat olive oil in a large pan (at least 12″ wide and 2″ deep) on MED-HIGH heat. Fry prosciutto until crispy and set aside.
2. Saute onion until fragrant and barely translucent. Reduce heat to MEDIUM-LOW.
3. Stir in arborio rice and saute until the grains are shiny and somewhat clear. (This can take more than 5 minutes!)
4. Slowly add in white wine and stir rice until the wine has been fully absorbed. It may still smell a bit sharp due to the alcohol.
5. When there’s almost no liquid left, ladle in 1/2 cup chicken stock and stir rice while the stock is absorbed by the rice.
6. Repeat, stirring occasionally until the rice is al dente, about 25 minutes. It’s easiest to stir the rice and let it sit for a moment to gauge how fast the liquid is absorbed. As the rice gets cooked, it absorbs the broth more slowly.
7. Once it barely gets absorbed after stirring in a bit of broth, taste the rice to check its doneness. If it’s still a little stiff or starchy for your liking, add in another ladle of stock and stir until you’re satisfied.
8. Stir in 60g of parmigiano reggiano until fully melted. Stir in thawed peas, prosciutto and green onions and turn off the heat. Season to taste.
9. Serve garnished with freshly cracked black pepper and sliced green onions.
I didn’t know that the Monsieur wanted to watch and learn how to make risotto, so I had already started by the time he got back! Oops!
I guess that means I’ll have to make this delicious, creamy risotto again. What horrors.