No need to open an all-risotto restaurant here in Sag Harbor like the one I saw yesterday on Bleecker Street. The IGA carries American-grown Arborio-style rice for making this Italian classic. As promised, here's a recipe for Saffron Risotto. Per my friend Cheryl's suggestion, I added a few handfuls of frozen peas for color and sweetness.
Risotto con i Pisellini e Zafferano (Because That's What They Call it in Italy)
1 quart low sodium canned chicken broth
2 cups water
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups Arborio-style rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
Pinch saffron threads
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Ground black pepper
- Warm the broth and water in a medium saucepan.
- Heat the oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a large dutch oven. Add the onion and cook over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the rice and cook, still stirring, for another minute.
- Add the wine and cook, stirring frequently, until the rice absorbs the liquid.
- Add the saffron, crushing the threads between your fingers as you sprinkle them onto the rice. Continue to cook, adding the broth mixture in 1-cup increments, always stirring, until the rice is al dente. If you run out of liquid, heat up some water and continue to add it to the pot until the rice is done.
- Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the peas, remaining tablespoon butter and the cheese. Stir in salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.