When I think of comfort food, risotto is right up there...right next to linguine with slow cooked ragu. I like simple, really well cooked, creamy risottos. Creamy, not because of added cream or butter, but creamy from twenty minutes of starch releasing stirring.
I'm not so much in love with what risotto has morphed into at some places. You know the ones, they are jam packed with all sorts of ingredients that take away from the starchy delicacy of the rice. In fact the most memorable risotto experience I have ever had was at Tutto Bene in Melbourne. It was a balsamic risotto that I long for to this day. It was the simplest, creamiest risotto, not too dry and not too wet. Drizzled over the top was the most magical aged balsamic that was vinegary and sweet at the same time and it cut through the rich parmesam laced risotto with perfection. That dish was a stroke of genius.
Recently, Mr Shady Pine and I spent the entire day working around the house and doing jobs before winter arrives. This involved gardening, lifting things from here to there and cleaning...lots and lots of cleaning. By that afternoon we were well and truly spent. It was one of those days where you are fully aware of all the energy you've exhausted and all you can think about is eating something nourishing and filling.
This saffron risotto came to the rescue thanks to the pantry. It is a really delicate risotto with that lovely and unique flavour from the saffron. As well as the flavour, the saffron imparts that beautiful golden colour and the red threads look lovely throughout the rice. This risotto delivers on flavour and I adore its simplicity.
1 cup Carnaroli or Arborio rice
2 Tbs olive oil
¼ cup white wine
½ small red onion, diced finely
1 garlic clove, crushed
Large pinch of saffron threads
375ml of chicken or vegetable stock
¼ cup parmesan cheese, finely grated
1. Combine the stock and saffron in a small saucepan and heat to a simmer then remove from the heat.
2. In another saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook for a few minutes until the onion is transparent.
3. Add the rice and stir for a minute until the rice is coated with the oil. Add the wine and stir until wine is absorbed
4. Add a ladle of stock to the rice and stir until stock is fully absorbed. Repeat the process. This should take around 20 minutes. At the end ensure that the rice is creamy with a little bit of stock and not dry.
5. Turn off the heat. Stir through the parmesan and serve immediately.