It’s just been way too nice to post lately. The sun is back, and its not a million degrees out. In typical New England fashion, mother nature went directly from rain to summer without having much of a spring, but things have evened out a bit after some scary storms this week. A tornado – in Springfield, Mass! Can you believe it?
Anyway, for nights like this, when its ever so slightly cool, I like to make lazy risotto. Full disclosure up front: this is not a rice risotto. This is a pasta risotto. Its not completely lazy – you do have to stir it a few times, but its a heck of a lot easier than traditional demanding recipes. Homemade chicken stock lends a ton of flavor, and it works well either as a side dish or main course. Easily made vegetarian with vegetable stock, too.
I like to use a mix of pastina and orzo – the combination makes for a great texture. With chicken stock, pepper, and lots of fresh grated parmesano reggiano, it is a perfect vehicle for spring veggies like asparagus and fresh mushrooms. Its even good plain. Honest.
3/4 cup of dried pasta per person (side – double for main dish). Mix pastas as you like.
2 tablespoons olive oil
Three cups of chicken stock, heated to just under boiling
Pepper to taste
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
Warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add dry pasta and stir to coat. Keep an eye on it and stir until golden. Then add a ladle or two of chicken stock – be careful, it will bubble furiously with the first bit of liquid. Add the rest of the chicken stock a ladle or two at a time. You don’t have to sit and stir this like regular risotto. In fact, you can probably add half the chicken stock, stir and walk away until you add the rest. I wont tell. This is lazy risotto – its unpretentious. Just before the last bit of stock is cooked away, add the parmesan. You can also add a pat of butter, but I swear it really doesn’t need it. I also dont think the recipe needs salt, due to the volume of parmesan in it, but also your call. Garnish with additional parmesan, and serve.