Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Ravishing Red Risotto

Mistura is one of my absolute favorite restaurants in Toronto. I was introduced to this fine Italian supper club years ago by a Sommelier I knew. Mistura quickly separated it's self from the rest of the fancy-shmancy restaurants for their excellent service and impeccably executed seasonal Italian menu.  Chef Massimo Capra from Restaurant Makeover on the Food Network is the head chef and owner of this delicious and romantic establishment. This recipe is inspired by his signature Risotto Rosso a delicious red beet risotto. I thought since I had half a bottle of red wine and a bunch of beets left I would give it a try. Risotto INGREDIENTS: Serves 2
serves 4
arborio rice - 1 cup
4 cups stock or water. 
4 beets - roasted then finely chopped
2 shallots - finely chopped
1/2 cooking onion - finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic - finely chopped
4 sprigs of thyme - remove leaves discard stems & finely chop
drop of olive oil
1 1/2 cups parmesan or grana padano
s & p
1-2 tbs butter - you can use more if you're not concerned with calories - more makes risotto creamier
good red Italian wine something dry - 1 cup
truffles or truffle oil - optional
PREP: For the beets you can roasted them at 400 for 45 minutes, then place them in a bowl with plastic wrap until the are room temp - to loosen and remove the skin (* wear gloves). You can also boil the beets (peeled) then use the water instead of the stock.  Finely chop all aromatics (onion, shallots and garlic).
Place stock or water in a sauce pan on a medium heat - you will need to slowly incorporate into risotto during the cooking and it won't work unless the broth is warm. 
COOK: Sautee onion, shallot and garlic in a medium hot pan until tender, make sure to season w/ s&p then add rice and thyme - parsley can be substituted but do not add it until the very end of the cooking process as it can not stand up to the heat and will turn brown. Make sure every grain is pretty much glistening before adding the red wine. Then start to slowly incorporate the warm stock 1 ladle at a time - add more stock when the liquid  has incorporated. Continue this process for about 15-20 mins adding the beets with about 5 minutes left to cook  until the rice is al dente then add  extra butter if desired and parmesan cheese which is mandatory. 
SERVE: Drizzle of truffle oil or shaved truffles a squirt of lemon is also nice and obviously extra cheese!

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