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Posts Tagged ‘Parmesan’

Risotto bianco with pesto

It’s anything with pesto in our house at the minute. This dish is definitely suitable for adults too.

Wine Suggestion: We would suggest a good Fiano from Campani in the south of Italy with  freshness and fruit that isn’t too ripe and tropical. By avoiding over-ripeness you get more stone fruit with a fresh vibrancy. Alongside the rich risotto and herby pesto it’s a great match.

Risotto Bianco with Pesto – serves 6

  • 1.1 litres hot chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • a knob of butter
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ a head of celery, finely chopped
  • 400g risotto rice
  • 2 wineglasses of dry white vermouth or dry white wine
  • 70g butter
  • 115g freshly grated Parmesan
  • fresh pesto
  • small handful of pine nuts – toasted
  • small basil leaves (to serve)

Put the olive oil and knob of butter into a pan, then add the onion, garlic and celery, and cook gently for about 15 minutes without colouring. When the vegetables have softened turn the heat up and add the rice.

Keep stirring for about a minute or until the rice looks translucent. Add the vermouth and continue to stir.

When the vermouth has disappeared, add a ladle of the hot stock and a good pinch of salt. Turn the heat down to a simmer and keep adding ladles of the stock, stirring all the time, allowing each ladleful to be absorbed before adding another. This should take about 15 minutes. After this taste the rice to check if it’s cooked. If not, keep adding stock until the rice is soft with a little bite. If you run out of stock you can add a some boiling water. Season.

Remove the risotto from the heat and add the butter and Parmesan. Stir well, then cover the pan and leave to sit for 2 minutes. Eat immediately garnished with a spoonful of fresh pesto, some toasted pine nuts, a few basil leaves and some extra Parmesan.

(Original recipe from Jamie’s Italy by Jamie Oliver, Michael Joseph, 2005.)

 

 

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Porcini & spinach risottoWe love a good risotto and this simple one doesn’t disappoint. Perfect cold weather comfort food.

Wine Suggestion: as this is a richer flavoured mushroom dish our first choice would be to head to a Nebbiolo, especially a good Barolo. With the addition of the spinach which has a fresh, iron bitterness we would swing back to a full-bodied white and go for a good Alsace Pinot Gris. The depth of flavour of this dish can balance a really intense Pinot Gris like one from Zind- Humbrecht, which sometimes can be edgy and a bit much for many foods. This one can handle it so push the boat out for flavour and enjoy.

As we had this as a weeknight treat, however, we found that a more humbleVilla Wolf Pinot Gris from the Pfalz also worked.

Porcini & spinach risotto – serves 2

  • 25g dried porcini mushrooms
  • 50g butter
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 200g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
  • 150g risotto rice
  • a glass of white wine
  • 750ml veg stock, simmering (we use Marigold Swiss Bouillon powder)
  • 100g spinach, washed & chopped
  • parmesan shavings

Soak the porcini mushrooms in a cup of boiling water for 10 minutes. Strain the liquid through a sieve to remove any gritty bits and keep for later. Roughly chop the porcini.

Heat the butter in a wide shallow pan and cook the onion and garlic until softened. Add the chestnut mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes, then add the porcini and risotto rice and stir until coated.

Pour in the wine and bubble until it has been absorbed by the rice. Gradually add the stock and porcini soaking liquid, stirring until the rice is al dente (you may not need all of the stock). Stir through the spinach until just wilted and serve sprinkled with shavings of parmesan.

(Original recipe by Janine Ratcliffe in BBC Olive Magazine, February 2009.)

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Courgette Pasta

This dish is so simple, and yet completely satisfying and delicious. It features regularly on our table during the summer months and has also become our daughter, Orlaith’s, favourite dish alongside Moussaka.

Wine Suggestion: A lovely and fresh wine but with depth and reasonable body works well with tis; something like a very good Verdicchio – try Sartarelli’s Talivio or Umani Ronchi’s Casal di Sera. If you feel like a red try a Cabernet Franc from the Loire, like the thoughtful and expressive Chinon’s by Charles Joguet.

Courgette Sauce for Pasta – serves 4

  • 1kg courgettes, thinly sliced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tbsp of cream
  • 50g freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra to serve
  • pasta of your choice (long or short works), 75-100g per person

Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the garlic and courgettes, and a pinch of salt.Cook gently to soften without browning. Continue to cook until the courgettes are completely soft and almost all of their water has evaporated (20-30 minutes). Then bash the courgette mixture to a rough purée with a wooden spoon or masher.

Stir in the cream and Parmesan and allow to bubble for a minute or so until the cream has reduced a bit.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in salted water until al dente.

Serve with extra Parmesan.

(Original recipe from The River Cottage Cookbook by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Collins, 2001.)

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Parmesan Turnip / Swede

We insist on calling swede turnip in Ireland which can lead to confusion. To be clear we mean the large yellow-fleshed sort as opposed to the smaller, white-fleshed turnips.

We like both versions, but particularly the larger ones, and this is a great side dish which makes a change from mash.

Roasted turnip-swede with Parmesan – to serve 4

  • 1 large swede/turnip, peeled and cut into chips
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 50g Parmesan, grated
  • 1 tbsp rosemary leaves
  • knob of butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled

Heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7.

Put the turnip, olive oil, almost all of the Parmesan, and the rosemary leaves into a shallow roasting tin. Season, toss well, and arrange in a single layer.

Sprinkle over the remaining Parmesan, dot with butter and add the garlic cloves.

Roast for 35-40 minutes, turning halfway, until golden and cooked through.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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This is delicious but very rich, plus a little goes a long way! We found this a really good twist on a classic.

Carbonara Cabbage – serves 8

  • 1kg Savoy cabbage, finely shredded
  • 12 rashers streaky bacon, chopped small
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
  • 250ml single cream
  • 50g Parmesan, grated

Cook the cabbage for 10 minutes in a large pan of boiling salted water. Drain and keep warm.

Meanwhile, fry the bacon in a large frying pan for 7-8 minutes or until crispy, adding the garlic for the final few minutes.

Mix the cream and Parmesan in a bowl with some black pepper. Add the cream mixture and the cabbage to the bacon pan and toss everything together really well. Warm through for a few minutes before serving.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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This is our classic party dish – so popular that we have to fight to get a taste when we serve it in a buffet! We’ve just made it this weekend for our friends Nicola and Dave’s housewarming. Just to make sure we got some ourselves we made a little extra for the next day. So for all our friends that have asked … here’s the recipe 🙂

Simple Baked Lasagne – serves 6 but easily doubled (which can easily serve 20 or more strangely enough …)

  • 4 rashers pancetta or smoked bacon, finely sliced
  • pinch cinnamon
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 generous handfuls of whole, fresh herbs (use your own mix of sage, oregano, rosemary and thyme)
  • 400g shin of beef, or skirt, coarsely minced
  • 200g pork belly, skin removed & coarsely minced
  • 2 x 400g tins good-quality plum tomatoes
  • 250ml red wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 butternut squash, halved, deseeded and roughly sliced
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds, bashed in a mortar & pestle
  • 1 dried red chilli, also bashed
  • 400g dried, ready to cook lasagne sheets
  • 400g mozzarella

For the white sauce:

  • 1 x 250ml tubs of crème fraîche
  • 3 anchovies, finely chopped
  • 2 handfuls freshly grated parmesan
  • a little milk

Preheat oven to 180C / 350F / Gas 4

If you are making a double quantity you may want to cook the meat sauce in two quantities as it will be easier to manage unless you have a very large casserole pot. You can also make the meat sauce in advance which makes entertaining easy –  a simple assembly and cook on the night!

In a large casserole pan slowly fry the pancetta or bacon and the cinnamon until golden, add the onion, carrot, garlic and herbs and about 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Once mixed together add the beef and pork and brown for about 5 minutes. Add the tinned tomatoes, wine and bay leaves and then bring to the boil. Wet some grease-proof paper and place it on top of the pan and then place a lid on top of this as well to complete the seal. Cook in the preheated oven for 2 hours.

While this is cooking rub the butternut squash with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and the bashed coriander seeds and chilli. Place on a baking tray and roast in the oven for the last 45 minutes of cooking the sauce. When you remove the sauce check that the squash is cooked and slightly caramelising; if not leave in oven until done.

When sauce is done season and put to one side. Mix together crème fraîche, anchovies, a handful of parmesan and season with salt and pepper. Slowly add enough milk while mixing until the sauce becomes loose and smooth. Don’t make it too runny!

Turn oven up to 200C / 400F / Gas 6. To assemble lasagne rub a large dish, or deep tray with olive oil, lay some sheets of lasagne over the bottom (and drape over the sides too if you are using fresh lasagne). Add a layer of meat, a little white sauce, a sprinkle of parmesan and then top with another layer of lasagne sheets. Make a complete layer with the butternut, topping it again with lasagne sheets. Repeat the meat, white sauce and parmesan layers. Finish with a layer of pasta covered in white sauce. Tear over the mozzarella and sprinkle with parmesan.

Cook for 30-35 minutes and until golden. Watch the hordes descend.

[Inspired by Jamie Oliver: Jamie’s dinners, Penguin 2006]

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Our kitchen window was bursting with basil plants and sort of like “the Day of the Triffids” as they were out of control and growing like mad despite the neglect after being away for a week. So if like us you have some basil on your windowsill then make pesto – those leaves aren’t going to last forever! This makes about 250ml and will keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks. You can expect some pesto recipes from us to follow.

Pesto – about 250ml

  • 50g pine nuts
  • large bunch basil
  • 50g parmesan
  • 150ml olive oil, plus a bit extra for storing
  • 2 garlic cloves
Heat a small frying pan over a low heat. Cook the pine nuts until golden, shaking the pan. Keep an eye on them as they burn easily and very quickly.Put the toasted pine nuts into a food processor along with the rest of the ingredients and process until smooth, then taste and season.

Pour into a jar and cover with a little bit of extra oil and store in the fridge. Keeps for around 2 weeks – ready for instant dinners like the one below.

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