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italian way with rice


helenas
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Please, help me to know more. Honestly, i am not a risotto fan, but recently i've learnt about so many other possibilities with italian rice - rice salad, roasted rice (riso arrosto), savory rice cake (bomba di riso).

If i google the names of these dishes, they seem very popular in italia: unfortunately my italian is almost non-existent.

Are there any resources on this subject? Dare i say that "Seductions of Rice" limited in their coverage of italian rice?

What else? Does somebody have "risotto and other rice dishes" by Del Conto? Your opinion?

Thank you.

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I just finished reading John & Matt Thorne's Pot on the Fire (a collection of their essays, pub 2000), and there's a chapter on riso in bianco. This is basically risotto-type rice (arborio, canarole, vialone nano, and other more obscure varieties that have a lot of amylopectin, the starch that makes for the creamy texture) cooked in a large amount of water, drained, and seasoned. I'd read about cooking riso this way before, but never with such enthusiasm and detail, so I tried it and have been making it frequently.

Basically, you get a good-sized pot of water boiling, salt it, add the rice slowly (rice to water about 1:6 or so), stir once, reduce heat to simmer, and leave uncovered for about 20 minutes or until rice is cooked to your liking. Then drain carefully in colander (Thorne says to pour into colander and let sit without stirring).

What you get is the quality of risotto-style rice, an absorbent, starchy exterior with a slightly chewy center (sounds like a candy ad), but without the creamy emulsion created by stirring all the starch off the outside of the rice. The most basic treatment of the riso is adding butter and Parmigiano, but the Thornes give several other variations.

The last time I made it I stirred in a little olive and butter, some Parm, sweet red Italian peppers (the long thin variety) sauted with a little garlic, and some chopped arugula I wilted with the peppers.

I've been using a rice called St Andrea that I got from Esperya, the mail-order food importer. They carry several rices from small producers in the Veneto that use more traditional milling techniques.

Jim

olive oil + salt

Real Good Food

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Rather than boiling water, try simmering basil leaves in chicken broth and using this to cook the rice (Risotto al basilico) the way it's done in the Tuscan area. I've also included saute'd onion. Add more (finely chopped) basil and Parma at the end.

When I feel like showing off when serving pasta, I use the same kind of broth. On old Italian lady taught me that when I wasn't more than 10 years old. It makes a huge difference in pasta and rice dishes.

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Rather than boiling water, try simmering basil leaves in chicken broth and using this to cook the rice (Risotto al basilico) the way it's done in the Tuscan area. I've also included saute'd onion. Add more (finely chopped) basil and Parma at the end.

When I feel like showing off when serving pasta, I use the same kind of broth. On old Italian lady taught me that when I wasn't more than 10 years old. It makes a huge difference in pasta and rice dishes.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Once in Sanremo for my pasta course I had rice, which was not risottoized but just cooked quite plainly, maybe butter in there, leaves of basil, a whole peeled garlic clove. Gentle and delicate. I don't think there was even cheese involved. So delicious.

I've wondered ever since about the cooking method...does such a rice preparation ring a bell with anyone?

Priscilla

Writer, cook, & c. ● #TacoFriday observant ●  Twitter    Instagram

 

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Once in Sanremo for my pasta course I had rice, which was not risottoized but just cooked quite plainly, maybe butter in there, leaves of basil, a whole peeled garlic clove.  Gentle and delicate.  I don't think there was even cheese involved.  So delicious.

I've wondered ever since about the cooking method...does such a rice preparation ring a bell with anyone?

Both Italy al Dente by Biba Caggiano and Unplugged Kitchen, by Viana La Place have recipes for boiled Italian rice. Basically, arborio rice is boiled in salted water or milk until al dente, and then the rice is drained. Butter (and cheese, if desired -- fontina, parmigiano) are mixed in to melt and coat the rice.

La Place has recipes for hot rice with cold lemon (rice, dressed with olive oil, salt and lemon juice) and rice with the little leaves on broccoli stalks. Caggiano has a recipe for rice with fontina cheese and another for rice cooked in milk (until the milk is all absorbed) with butter and parmigiano stirred in at end.

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Jack Bishop in his book the Complete Italian Vegetarian Cookbook has a recipe for boiled arborio rice with mozarella and herbs that is very good.

There are other ercipes for boiled rices including a pest rice, a rice salad, and baked arborio rice with marinated artichoke hearts.

I think I might give this last one a try later this week.

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Thank you, Toby and Torakris.

It was a very plain preparation, like the citations you've provided. Beginning soon after the meal in question, if not the very night I arrived home, I have tried boiling Arborio in lots of water, and seasoning and so forth after, and while I have gotten edible results, I have never achieved the delicacy I recall from Sanremo.

Haven't ever boiled the rice in milk; will give that a try, Toby. At the least I am reinspired to revisit the quest. Just another one of the many benefits of eGullet, REinspiration.

Priscilla

Writer, cook, & c. ● #TacoFriday observant ●  Twitter    Instagram

 

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Jim,

Thanks: if you checked esperya forum, it's my rice question over there. In the meantime i've got some rice from ChefShop.com;

And this boiled method that Jim described: i just can't stop cooking rice this way; i use risotto recipes, and i add all the other ingredients at the end. Yesterday, for example, it was roasted corn, thyme, shallots and some heavy cream.

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I prepared Arborio ($1.99 the vacuum-packed kg at Trader Joe's) this way last evening. What a great texture! As I wrote over in the Dinner! discussion, I stirred in butter and pesto and very finely diced highly flavored tomato after boiling. I'm thinking there's going to be more boiled Arborio appearing on my table, right quick here.

(Forgot to say, the nutty flavor of the rice itself is pronounced and delicious, prepared this way. Sometimes gets lost with risotto...)

Priscilla

Writer, cook, & c. ● #TacoFriday observant ●  Twitter    Instagram

 

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  • 1 month later...
  • 1 month later...
  • 2 years later...

Made a nice bomba di riso for breakfast today so decided to resurrect this thread:

cooked arborio mixed with eggs and pine nuts: spiced with allspice, oregano and marash pepper lamb mince browned in butter and sandwiched bw layers of rice, the bottom is pan browned and the top is broiled:

bombadiriso19gj.jpg

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Thanks for resurrecting this thread.

Honestly, i am not a risotto fan, but recently i've learnt about so many other possibilities with italian rice - rice salad, roasted rice (riso arrosto), savory rice cake (bomba di riso).

I'm so curious as to why you aren't a risotto fan. Is it the creamy-ness? Because if it is I won't wax poetic about arborio rice pudding.

Then there is that wonderful show stopper of a dish, Tumala. A Sicilian based rice and pasta timbale. Baked in a stainless steel bowl, the dish is inverted to release the now perfectly round dish. Sliced like a cake, served with a tomato sauce and lots of pecorino. s

The recipe was featured in a back issue of Saveur mag and then printed in their book Saveur Cooks Authentic Italian.

And of course, leftover risotto makes killer croquettes or fried rice cakes with a bit of bread crumbs and egg.

s

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I can highly recommend Diane Seeds little book Top 100 Italian Rice dishes.. maybe half of it is risotti, the rest is other italian rice dishes.. everyhing from rice bakes, soups, frittatta, rice salads, vegetables stuffed with rice.. for me this book really was an eye-opener that there is so much more to italian rice dishes than risotto!

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