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Risotto Cacio e Pepe. Salt reduced
A new twist on one of the holy trinity of Roman Recipe
350g x Arborio rice
1.5 litres x Chicken or vegetable stock
1 x Medium bunch of shallots
1 x Cup white wine
2 x Teaspoons white pepper - to taste,see comment below
3 x Teaspoons dried thyme leaves
2 x Cups sliced button or mushrooms
200g x Pecorino Romano DOP cheese, finely grated
1 x Bunch small asparagus spears
Before you start this recipe see IMPORTANT below
In a medium to hot pan with a little olive oil, saute the shallots then add the rice and carefully toast the rice to a light brown colour. Then add the white wine to the rice and stir to evaporate.
In a separate pot warm your stock so it is not added to the rice cold. Now add the mushrooms, white pepper, thyme and 1/2 cup of the stock to the rice and stir until the liquid is absorbed. Then repeat, each time making sure the liquid is taken up by the rice with frequent stirring before adding the next 1/2 cup of the stock.
Continue adding the stock and stirring until the rice is cooked then slowly add the Pecorino Romano, stirring so the cheese is evenly spread into your risotto. Then add the diced blanched asparagus to the risotto. You should now have a delicious creamy risotto dish.
Important: Before you start the recipe there are two essentials !
First, the Stock
Your Stock must be of the highest quality - it is your flavour base. For that a rich homemade vegetable or chicken Stock is a winner.
Or, if you are looking to buy a stock for your risotto, best to avoid the cardboard supermarket stocks and select one of the premium stocks available from the better butchers or proper food stores.
A suggestion would be one of the Undivided.....products - they really are excellent, the real thing. And easily available on line, go to.....
Second, the Toasting
You must toast your rice before taking it to the liquid stage. No problem with this.
In a pan, saute the shallots in a little olive oil then add the rice and over a medium/ high heat, toast the rice, moving it about until you have the wonderful aromas filling your kitchen and the rice turns a little brown. You are now ready to go.
Texture I suppose you could add a third essential: the finished risotto is all about texture. It should not be runny and should not be a solid blob on the plate. It should be slightly liquid and definitely, creamy.
None of this is easy but you are up for it. Done well, a true Risotto is a magnificent dish
Comments: Pepper flavour is an essential to this recipe but should be added to taste. Black Pepper may replace the White Pepper, if preferred.