Tuesday, 30 March 2021

Risotto with artichokes, basil and pistachios

1 hour to prepare Serves 4



The winning combination

Risotto is one of the most popular dishes throughout the north of Italy and it is available anywhere in the Lombardy Region.

From Milan in the west to the little town of Vigevano on the eastern boundaries of Lombardy very few restaurants here would dare not to have at least one risotto recipe featured on the menu.
This risotto recipe is one of the ones I love most. It is made with artichokes, and basil, and pistachios, in one of the most lovely you have ever eaten.

It is a combination that I only recently discovered. It is the adaptation of this fabulous pasta recipe and I honestly wouldn't know which I love the most!

Well on with the recipe...

Here's what you will need for the 4-serving recipe:

320 g Carnaroli rice 
1 shallot
2 lemons
50 g  butter
100 g  Parmesan cheese
1 l vegetable broth
4 artichokes
100 ml dry white wine
10 basil leaves
30 g chopped pistachios
EVO oil
salt and pepper

  1. Before you start, fill a large bowl with cold water. Squeeze the lemons into it and drop the lemon halves into the water
  2. Clean the artichokes: pull the outermost leaves until you get down to the lighter yellow leaves. Then, using a serrated knife, cut off the top third or so of the artichoke.
  3. With the same serrated knife, trim the very bottom of the stem, then trim its tough outer portion by cutting away the fibrous green exterior to reveal the light, tender center. Finally, cut the artichoke into thin slices, so that it takes few minutes to cook them. Add them to the water and lemon and let them soak for 1 hour
  4. Then, braise the shallot with 2 tablespoons of EVO oil; add artichoke slices and cook gently with salt, and perfuming with a pinch of pepper for about 10 minutes, until they become soft and golden
  5. Finally, blend half of the artichokes with 10 leaves of basil, and keep aside
  6. Meanwhile, in another pan melt the butter
  7. Pour the rice into the pan and let it toast for 1 minute
  8. Simmer it with white wine until it evaporates
  9. Cook the rice, adding a spoonful of boiling vegetable broth at a time, as for a normal risotto, (please refer to the cooking time indicated on the rice package)
  10. When half of rice's cooking time has passed, add the artichokes and go on with the cooking
  11. Take off the heat and add the cream of artichokes and Parmesan cheese. Mix well, then serve immediately with crunchy pistachios on top!

In the following, Nutrition Facts of this dish are indicated. Data is provided per serving.

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