Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Red Wine Risotto with Peas

I'm really trying to write this blog post, but at the same time I am riveted by the History channel's presentation of the Bible.  I can't take it.  It's so good!  It's very well presented and even though I know what's coming, I'm sitting on the edge of the couch to watch every scene.  (OK, in reality, I only know when a few important scenes are coming.  I haven't sat in a Religion class since my Catholic high school days. PS - I'm not even Catholic.  Figure that one out.)

So.  Pretty much the above paragraph is all I wrote while watching a 2-hour presentation of The Bible.  In order to get some writing done, I had to switch to Worst Cooks In America.  There's a show that makes me ecstatic to have picked up cooking so easily and so quickly.  In all honesty, when I moved to Hoboken a few (ahem...several) years ago, I had an idea how to cook maybe 3 things. 

Which naturally meant that the first new recipe I decided to teach myself was...risotto.  Yeah, totally went big on that one.  I made a butternut squash risotto that was delicious, if I may toot my own horn.  Which I will.  I was actually pleasantly surprised by the outcome and was encouraged to expand my cooking horizons, if you will.

Recently, I stumbled across a Giada recipe for red wine risotto.  Wha...?  You know I love me some red wine.  And then I realized she also put peas in the recipe.  I love me some peas too!  And as icing on the cake, I didn't have to buy anything for this recipe since I obviously had red wine and peas at the ready.

Red Wine Risotto with Peas
slightly adapted from Giada
makes 2 generous or 4 small servings

Print Recipe

  • 3 1/2 cups low-salt chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1/3 cup frozen peas, defrosted
  • 1/4 cup grated Manchego cheese, plus additional for garnish
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan, plus additional for garnish
  • Dash of Habanero sauce
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1) Pour the broth into a small pot and warm it over medium-high heat.
2) Melt the butter in a heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until translucent, about 8 minutes.
3) Stir in the garlic and allow to cook for about 30 seconds.
4) Add the rice and cook for about 2 minutes, until the rice is toasted.
5) Pour in the wine and stir until it is absorbed, about 1 minute.
6) Add 3/4 cup of hot broth.  Allow the rice and broth to simmer over medium-low heat for a few minutes, until the liquid is absorbed, stirring often.  
7) Repeat step 6, adding 3/4 cup of warm broth each time, until all the broth is gone.  Allow the risotto to simmer until the rice is just tender and the mixture is creamy.
8) Stir in the peas.
9) Add the 3/4 cup of cheeses and stir to melt them in the risotto.

10) Season the dish to taste with habanero sauce, salt, and pepper.  Serve warm and sprinkled with additional cheese, if desired.

My biggest gripe with this recipe is that it only yielded two servings!  OK, it actually yielded two large servings, but I would definitely recommend doubling this recipe if you love leftovers as much as I do.  If I'm going to make risotto, I want to go big or go home.

Let it be known that this is the only negative thing I can say about this recipe...

I was fascinated that I could actually taste the red wine flavor in this dish.  Duh, I know I added red wine to this risotto.  But in my opinion, I think many times when alcohol is added to dishes, the flavor of the alcohol is no longer present by the time the dish is complete.  That is not the case here.  You definitely know that there is red wine in this rice, and it is utterly fan-tannic!  (See what I did there?  No?  Um, just ignore me then.)  The sweet pop of the peas and the creaminess of the cheese don't hurt either.  I usually think that Giada can do no wrong and she has definitely proven that once again with this fabulous risotto.

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