Very often, during Winter, when I need some good comfort food, I go straight for a risotto: so natural, creamy and voluptuous, risotto definitely makes my day when outside it is rainy and cold; and it makes me so happy to cook it just for myself, or family and friends.
So today I am sharing with you a very special recipe of mine: a pink risotto with beetroot, organic lemon zest and it you like it, some fresh ricotta. I see it perfect for a family lunch or… a romantic dinner …!
Clean the beetroot and cook it in a pot with a lot of water. Add a good pinch of salt. It might take some time to cook a beetroot so you can also opt for an already cooked one – in Paris I find them easily at the organic grocery stores.
Peel and cut the beetroot in small cubes. Put it in a mixer along with the vegetables stock: you need as much vegetable stock as to get a smoothie-like consistency. Add a pinch of salt and mix one more time.
Let’s prepare all the other ingredients:
Grate the Parmigiano reggiano; cut the butter in small cubes and put it back in the fridge. Peel and cut the onion in thin slices.
Take a large pot. Add the extra virgin olive oil and the onion. Put the pot over low heat. When the onion turns golden brown, add the rice and turn the heat on medium. Let the rice toast for a couple of minutes stirring it constantly.
Add the white wine. Once evaporated, add the beetroot. The beetroot has to cover the rice – no need to add more.
Turn the heat on low. Taste it to see if you need more salt.
Cooking a risotto requires a pinch of patience and some time. You need to stir it from time to time, very gently, and check that it does not stick to the pot. You need to add the beetroot little by little until the rice is cooked the way you like it and the juice is absorbed. If you finish the beetroot while cooking the risotto, start adding the vegetable stock.
I can’t tell you how much beetroot or stock you will need, you just need to befriend your rice and get to taste it until it is ready.
It has not to get too sticky or too liquid, the right consistency is creamy or as we say it in Italian “all’onda”. “All’onda” means that you can create waves with the risotto when you stir it in the pot.
When the risotto is ready, turn the heat off.
Now you are ready for the renown “mantecatura” !
The “mantecatura” consists in adding the parmigiano reggiano and the cold butter little by little. Stir until completely melted and blended with the rice.
Place the risotto on a dish, add the lemon zest, fresh thyme and it you like it, a quenelle of fresh creamy ricotta.
Buon appetito !
Recipe for 2
– 180 gr Vialone nano or Carnaroli rice
– 300 beetroot (cooked)
– 1 white onion (medium size)
– 4 tablespoons of white wine
– 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
– 40 gr cold butter
– 80 gr Parmigiano Reggiano
– vegetable stock as much as needed
– the zest of one fresh organic lemon
– 1 coffee spoon of extra virgin olive oil
– 100 gr ricotta (cow or bufala) (optional)