Thursday, April 21, 2011

Pasta Risotto

This is apparently the third in a series about risotto, the second of 2 which are not actually made with rice. The first was barley risotto. I made this one with risi which is the small rice shaped pasta (as opposed to orzo or risoni, "big rice").

The inspiration came from Keys to Good Cooking: A Guide to Making the Best of Foods and Recipes by Harold McGee. To paraphrase as I don't have the book in front of me, he says that to make small pastas creamy, cook them by stirring in wine and stock one ladle full at a time like risotto.

Here's how it worked out;

Pasta Risotto

1 quart or so stock or water seasoned with a bouillon cube at a bare simmer
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped fine
3 cloves garlic minced
1 cup risi or orzo/risoni pasta
1/2 cup white wine
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
salt and black pepper to taste

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. At the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently until the garlic is aromatic (less than 30 seconds).

Stir in the pasta. I am not sure whether cooking it for a bit while stirring did anything like it brings out a nutty flavor in rice but I did it anyway.

Add the wine and stir frequently until most of it has evaporated/been soaked up by the pasta. Repeat this step with the stock, a cup at a time.

It took me 3 cups of stock checking for doneness of the pasta before the next addition of stock, about 12 minutes.

When the pasta is done to your liking and the last addition of broth is not too soupy, remove from heat and stir in the butter and the cheese. Again, I am not sure that letting it rest for 5 minutes with the cover on like a traditional risotto does anything for it but I did. Season with salt to taste and plenty of freshly ground black pepper.

It definitely tasted lighter somehow than risotto and pasta-ier (wheatier?). It was a fun experiment which actually started out to be risi e bisi with pasta but I forgot by the end and didn't leave it soupy or add the peas.



  1. Great blog! Are all of these your recipes or adaptations or what? And when the heck do you find time to cook all this stuff?! I will definitely be trying some of these out here in the future....
    Keep up the great work!


  2. Hey Josh, thanks! I generally either improvise from what I've found cheap at the store or adapt a recipe. I always try to link to the source (if I can remember).

    It's all pretty home cooking-y stuff but I have fun.

    I try to cook every night because I love it!