Sides should be simple; blanch yourself a bunch of broccoli rabe earlier on and you can quickly pop it into a hot pan with olive oil and garlic at the last minute. A little S+P, a little squeeze of lemon, and you are done. Now you have a sumptuous Italian dinner, just in time to refill your glass. Nobody will know how easy it all was. I won't tell.
adapted from Tessa Kiros, Apples for Jam
for I♥CC, Rice is Nice
4 Tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, chopped fine
4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
Good pinch chilli flakes
1 cup arborio rice
1¼ cup passata, or ground tomatoes
5 cups good vegetable broth
2/3 cup mozzarella, cut into ½-inch chunks
½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for top
Couple of basil leaves and a handful of Italian parsley, roughly chopped
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- Heat a heavy-bottomed saucepan to medium and add olive oil.
- Throw in onion and sauté, stirring often, for 4 minutes.
- Add chilli flakes and garlic and sauté for another minute.
- Add in rice and stir until each grain is coated and starting to toast - about a minute.
- Add in half the passata and a cup of the warm broth.
- Turn heat down to med-low, a low simmer, and stir often while the rice starts to absorb the liquid and you have a glass of wine.
- Add the rest of the passata and another cup of broth.
- Keep stirring, salt and pepper to taste.
- Just keep along with your stirring, tasting, and adding broth until you have the texture and consistency that you like.
- Add in the cheeses, reserving a little Parm for presentation.
- Stir in the herbs, do a final taste check, and serve with a dusting of Parm on top.