Late night reading can lead to very late nights, indeed. A friend’s visiting mother loaned me the book, “An Italian Wedding”. It opens with a recipe for Melanzane alla Parmigiana or Eggplant Parmigiana! This is a story about and Italian-English family in London and their restaurant. (I can’t put it down.) Last night when I read a mention of beetroot risotto my immediate thought was, “Why did I throw those beet roots away?” (The food lesson is that Beppi, the main guy and the papa, uses everything in his cooking. There is no waste.)
The story is involved, but one of the central themes is around the complicated love of this family. Through food a world of love is created in the restaurant. Secrets and desires are revealed in the history of the love of the parents, as the story unfolds. But what strikes me most importantly is how food has a central role in the whole fabric of the telling. (It’s a fun read.)
Writing about food has opened up connections that I have never made before. Making food and sharing it is so important to me. I feel fortunate to be able to share my friends’ fine cooking and learn about recipes and cooking tips from them.
Sabina showed me how to make Risotto this past February when she visited. A really tasty thing we did was to use dried mushrooms in the bouillon.
Here’s Sabina’s recipe for Risotto:
1 Clove of garlic
1 Liter bouillon (to make it less salty use one cube per liter instead of two)
Vegetables, (green peas, tomatoes, mushrooms, arugula, broccoli, whatever)
Heat oil in pan. Melt onion and garlic. Add vegetables that need cooking (broccoli in little pieces or mushrooms, peas from freezer).
Throw arborio rice in, one handful per person. Stir until all rice is covered with oil and shining.
Add splash of bouillon and stir. Wait for bouillon to almost dissolve, add another splash. Continue like this for 20 minutes. Taste every now and then to see if rice is cooked.
Add vegetables that don’t need cooking: tomatoes, arugula. If you want to add mozzarella, this is a good moment to do so. Break it in little pieces and scoop through.
Add basil. Put on plate and add grated Parmesan.
Oh just got a wine advice from a sommelier-friend for our mushroom risotto: Dom Perignon 1990. Well, maybe…Bye, Sabina