Riso e Zucchine
“Risotto with Courgettes”

    • Prep Time
    • Minutes
    • Cook Time
    • Minutes
    • Difficulty Level

AV_POST_06_RESIPE_RISOTTO-COURGETTES-ingredients

Total Cost: UK/£ 6,58*

Cost/portion: UK/£ 1,64*

Before  it’s too late and they run out of season, it’s better to write down this recipe. Courgettes are one of the most versatile vegetables: raw, deep fried, stuffed, grilled, sautéed, with pasta or with rice,  whizzed up in a tempting cream or simply steamed and seasoned with a extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, they are always appetizing. The minced parsley, which will be added only when binding the rice, will match the sweet flavor of courgettes with a fresh herby note.

A word of advice

The recipe requires white wine for toasting the rice and vegetable stock for cooking it, but you can be free to skip the first – especially if you’d better offer it to those friends who are staying for supper – and to substitute the second with an easy stock cube or gel portion (then, just be careful with the salt for seasoning).

If you want to use chicken stock or any stock mead with meat, you would do better to skim the excess of fat before using it, so it will not weight down the flavours. If you can’t have access to any white wine, then simply skip this part after toasting the rice.

See my recipe for vegetable stock here

Note for the users: please click on the label “HOW TO” to watch the slide-show of each cooking step.

* Please note that both total cost and cost per portion are approximate and that can vary according to seasons and to different conditions.

Recipe Rating

  • (5 Rating)

Ingredients

  • Butter - 60gr (part 1of 2)

  • Shallots - 120gr

  • Salt - as needed

  • White wine (pinot grigio) - 20ml (part 1of 2)

  • Courgettes - 350gr (cleaned)

  • Fresh parsley (both stalks and leaves) - 20gr

  • Rice (arborio)* - 320gr

  • *you can also use other type of rice like carnaroli or vialone nano.
  • White wine (pinot grigio) - 80ml (part 2 of 2)

  • Vegetable stock** - 1,3lt (see recipe here)

  • **in alternative, 1,3lt of boiling water and one stock cube or gel portion. Melt the cubes or gels in boiling water and sieve before use to clean it from undesired pieces of vegetables. Also reduce the amount of salt that follows.
  • Extra vegetable stock - 200ml (to keep at the ready and use if necessary)

  • Salt*** - 10gr

  • ***reduce to taste if you are using stock cubes or gel portions.
  • Ground black pepper

  • Butter - 20gr (part 2of 2)

  • Parmigiano cheese - 60gr

  • Utensils

  • One chopping board

  • One sharp paring knife

  • One sharp chef knife

  • Cooking string

  • One tea towel

  • One small saucepan

  • One deep saucepan (4-6lt)

  • One frying pan

  • One wooden spoon or silicon spatula

  • One grater

  • One ladle

Instructions

  • 1.
    Putting the stock to boil and preparing the courgettes

    • Vegetable stock* - 1,3lt (see recipe here)
    • *in alternative, 1,3lt of boiling water and one stock cube or gel portion. Melt the cubes or gels in boiling water and sieve before use to clean it from undesired pieces of vegetables. Also reduce the amount of salt that follows.

    • Extra vegetable stock - 200ml (to keep at the ready and use if necessary)
    • Salt **- 10gr
    • **reduce to taste if you are using stock cubes or gel portions.

    • Courgettes - 350gr (cleaned)
    • Fresh parsley (both stalks and leaves) - 20gr

    • One chopping board
    • One sharp paring knife
    • One sharp chef knife
    • One tea towel
    • Cooking string
    • One small saucepan (3lt)

      Put the vegetable stock to boil on a high heat and add the salt. If you are using stock cubes or stock gel portions, season the stock to your taste.
      Thoroughly wash the courgettes, dry them up with the tea towel and chop off their ends. Halve them lengthwise. If the courgettes are quite big (more than 3cm of diameter) cut them in quarters and cut off the spongy and seedy centre. Chop them into thin slices (3 to 4 millimetres thick). Set aside.
      Thoroughly wash the parsley and dry it with the towel without making any pressure on it; keep a couple of stalks aside. With the remaining, separate the leaves from the stalks. Make a “bouquet garni” with the stalks and set aside.

  • 2.
    Cooking the courgettes base

    • Butter - 60gr (part 1of 2)
    • Shallots - 120gr
    • The parsley “bouquet garni”
    • Salt - 2gr
    • Ground black pepper - to taste
    • White wine (pinot grigio) - 20ml (part 1 of 2)
    • Sliced Courgettes - 350gr (cleaned)
    • Parmigiano cheese - 60gr

    • One grater
    • One chopping board
    • One sharp paring knife
    • One sharp chef knife
    • One deep pan
    • One saucepan

      Put the saucepan on medium heat with the butter and the parsley stalks (step 2 - pic. A). Mince the shallots into a brunoise*.
      When the butter has melted completely, add the shallots, spread them evenly and allow them to absorb the fat (step 2 - pic. B).
      Increase slightly the heat and let them start frying gently until they become slightly translucent. Season with salt and black pepper, and keep stirring while they tenderise.
      Increase the heat again and pour in the white wine, which will start sizzling and bubbling. Allow the mixture to reduce till it becomes smooth and it gets a light golden colour setting the heat a bit lower if necessary (it must not brown more than it already has).
      Add the courgettes. Stir on gentle heat for 10-15 minutes, letting the courgettes cooking completely. Make them gain a light golden colour but do not make them brown (step 2 - pic. C).
      Meanwhile, grate the parmigiano cheese and set aside.

      Note about cutting the shallot into brunoise

      With a paring knife, chop off the shallot’s tip. Clean the roots, halve it and peel off the tunics. Put each half facing down on a chopping board. With either the paring knife or the tip of the chef knife, make vertical cuts - 2millimeters apart from each other - driving the tip of the knife as close to the roots as possible. Hold the shallot together with one hand’s fingers, get the chef knife and with a fulcrum movement complete the mincing with narrow cuts.

  • 3.
    Toasting the rice (dry method)

    • Rice (arborio)* - 320gr
    • *you can also use other type of rice like carnaroli or vialone nano.

    • White wine (pinot grigio) - 80ml (part 2 of 2)

    • One frying pan
    • One wooden spoon or silicon spatula

      While the courgettes gets to a gentle simmer, start toasting the rice.
      Toasting the rice is absolutely essential for a good and appropriate final result. If its grain would not be going through this process, instead of a risotto, you would be serving a mushy sticky soup. The exposure of each single rice grain to direct heat will seal its pores allowing the grains to be maintained whole during the cooking.
      Spread the rice evenly in the nonstick frying pan and put it on medium-high heat. Keep stirring and tossing the rice so that all its grains will gradually gain a distinctive pearl-white colour in the centre and slightly translucent edges. When ready, the grains will start resisting the stirring lightly and they will make a tingling noise hitting the pan’s sides.
      Now, add the wine all at once and stir so it wets the rice evenly (step 3 - pic. A). Keep stirring while the wine reduces and all the alcohol evaporates, but do not dry completely (since the rice can not be burnet during this process, consider to reduce the heat under the pan).
      Immediately add the rice to the saucepan with the courgettes and stir evenly (step 3 - pic. B).

  • 4.
    Cooking the rice

    • The mixture of rice and courgettes
    • Vegetable salted stock - 1,3lt (see recipe here)
    • Extra vegetable salted stock - 200ml (to keep at the ready and use if necessary)
    • Fresh parsley leaves

    • One chopping board
    • One sharp chef knife
    • One wooden spoon or silicon spatula
    • One ladle

      Make sure the stock is boiling intensely and let the rice soak in the sauce for a couple of minutes, so the aromas will sink into the rice grains and the wine will evaporate completely.
      Meanwhile, finely mince the parsley (to preserve the flavors and to avoid the oxidation, it would be better to do this as close as possible to binding the rice before serving).
      With the heat set on low power, pour in almost three ladles of stock (step 4 - pic. A). Let it gain the boiling again stirring continuously, while the rice grains gradually absorb the liquids.
      Keep adding stock ladle by ladle making the rice absorb it each time (the stock must be kept boiling, otherwise it will drop the temperature of the mixture and block the cooking). Carefully increase the heat gradually.
      Depending on the type of rice you are using, the cooking will take from 15 to 18 minutes and you will end up with a creamy but steady mixture.
      Check if the rice is cooked: it must be “al dente”. Which means that the grains have to be cooked right to their core, but they still can put up resistance to your chewing. If it tastes still raw and it is too crunchy, carefully add some more stock (from the 200ml extra dose).
      Check the seasoning, correct the salt if necessary and stir (step 3 - pic. B).

  • 5.
    Binding the rice “all’onda”

    • Butter - 15gr (part 2 of 2)
    • The grated parmigiano cheese - 60gr
    • the cooked rice
    • The minced parsley

    • One wooden spoon or silicon spatula

      Get the saucepan off the heat. Let the rice rest for about one and a half minutes (ratio should be: three minute every kilo of risotto). This resting is essential to stabilise the starches before adding the butter.
      Then, add the butter to the risotto and stir allowing the fat emulsifying with the starchy liquor (step 5 - pic. A). Use the spoon or the spatula to bring the rice from the outside to the centre in large circular movements, collecting it from the bottom and moving it to the top. Add the cheese and the parsley, then stir again to mix them evenly (step 5 - pic. B).
      The mixture will gain consistency becoming creamy and billowy or “all’onda” as we call it in Italian. If you think it’s still too thick, gradually add small amounts of stock and stir again. That's why it is easier to bind the risotto when it is slightly drier rather than too runny: after adding the butter and the cheese you can't put it back on the hobs.
      Allow it to rest for no more than one minute and then serve it.

Instructions

  • 1.
    Putting the stock to boil and preparing the courgettes

    • Vegetable stock* - 1,3lt (see recipe here)
    • *in alternative, 1,3lt of boiling water and one stock cube or gel portion. Melt the cubes or gels in boiling water and sieve before use to clean it from undesired pieces of vegetables. Also reduce the amount of salt that follows.

    • Extra vegetable stock - 200ml (to keep at the ready and use if necessary)
    • Salt **- 10gr
    • **reduce to taste if you are using stock cubes or gel portions.

    • Courgettes - 350gr (cleaned)
    • Fresh parsley (both stalks and leaves) - 20gr

    • One chopping board
    • One sharp paring knife
    • One sharp chef knife
    • One tea towel
    • Cooking string
    • One small saucepan (3lt)

      Put the vegetable stock to boil on a high heat and add the salt. If you are using stock cubes or stock gel portions, season the stock to your taste.
      Thoroughly wash the courgettes, dry them up with the tea towel and chop off their ends. Halve them lengthwise. If the courgettes are quite big (more than 3cm of diameter) cut them in quarters and cut off the spongy and seedy centre. Chop them into thin slices (3 to 4 millimetres thick). Set aside.
      Thoroughly wash the parsley and dry it with the towel without making any pressure on it; keep a couple of stalks aside. With the remaining, separate the leaves from the stalks. Make a “bouquet garni” with the stalks and set aside.

  • 2.
    Cooking the courgettes base

    • Butter - 60gr (part 1of 2)
    • Shallots - 120gr
    • The parsley “bouquet garni”
    • Salt - 2gr
    • Ground black pepper - to taste
    • White wine (pinot grigio) - 20ml (part 1 of 2)
    • Sliced Courgettes - 350gr (cleaned)
    • Parmigiano cheese - 60gr

    • One grater
    • One chopping board
    • One sharp paring knife
    • One sharp chef knife
    • One deep pan
    • One saucepan

      Put the saucepan on medium heat with the butter and the parsley stalks (step 2 - pic. A). Mince the shallots into a brunoise*.
      When the butter has melted completely, add the shallots, spread them evenly and allow them to absorb the fat (step 2 - pic. B).
      Increase slightly the heat and let them start frying gently until they become slightly translucent. Season with salt and black pepper, and keep stirring while they tenderise.
      Increase the heat again and pour in the white wine, which will start sizzling and bubbling. Allow the mixture to reduce till it becomes smooth and it gets a light golden colour setting the heat a bit lower if necessary (it must not brown more than it already has).
      Add the courgettes. Stir on gentle heat for 10-15 minutes, letting the courgettes cooking completely. Make them gain a light golden colour but do not make them brown (step 2 - pic. C).
      Meanwhile, grate the parmigiano cheese and set aside.

      Note about cutting the shallot into brunoise

      With a paring knife, chop off the shallot’s tip. Clean the roots, halve it and peel off the tunics. Put each half facing down on a chopping board. With either the paring knife or the tip of the chef knife, make vertical cuts - 2millimeters apart from each other - driving the tip of the knife as close to the roots as possible. Hold the shallot together with one hand’s fingers, get the chef knife and with a fulcrum movement complete the mincing with narrow cuts.

  • 3.
    Toasting the rice (dry method)

    • Rice (arborio)* - 320gr
    • *you can also use other type of rice like carnaroli or vialone nano.

    • White wine (pinot grigio) - 80ml (part 2 of 2)

    • One frying pan
    • One wooden spoon or silicon spatula

      While the courgettes gets to a gentle simmer, start toasting the rice.
      Toasting the rice is absolutely essential for a good and appropriate final result. If its grain would not be going through this process, instead of a risotto, you would be serving a mushy sticky soup. The exposure of each single rice grain to direct heat will seal its pores allowing the grains to be maintained whole during the cooking.
      Spread the rice evenly in the nonstick frying pan and put it on medium-high heat. Keep stirring and tossing the rice so that all its grains will gradually gain a distinctive pearl-white colour in the centre and slightly translucent edges. When ready, the grains will start resisting the stirring lightly and they will make a tingling noise hitting the pan’s sides.
      Now, add the wine all at once and stir so it wets the rice evenly (step 3 - pic. A). Keep stirring while the wine reduces and all the alcohol evaporates, but do not dry completely (since the rice can not be burnet during this process, consider to reduce the heat under the pan).
      Immediately add the rice to the saucepan with the courgettes and stir evenly (step 3 - pic. B).

  • 4.
    Cooking the rice

    • The mixture of rice and courgettes
    • Vegetable salted stock - 1,3lt (see recipe here)
    • Extra vegetable salted stock - 200ml (to keep at the ready and use if necessary)
    • Fresh parsley leaves

    • One chopping board
    • One sharp chef knife
    • One wooden spoon or silicon spatula
    • One ladle

      Make sure the stock is boiling intensely and let the rice soak in the sauce for a couple of minutes, so the aromas will sink into the rice grains and the wine will evaporate completely.
      Meanwhile, finely mince the parsley (to preserve the flavors and to avoid the oxidation, it would be better to do this as close as possible to binding the rice before serving).
      With the heat set on low power, pour in almost three ladles of stock (step 4 - pic. A). Let it gain the boiling again stirring continuously, while the rice grains gradually absorb the liquids.
      Keep adding stock ladle by ladle making the rice absorb it each time (the stock must be kept boiling, otherwise it will drop the temperature of the mixture and block the cooking). Carefully increase the heat gradually.
      Depending on the type of rice you are using, the cooking will take from 15 to 18 minutes and you will end up with a creamy but steady mixture.
      Check if the rice is cooked: it must be “al dente”. Which means that the grains have to be cooked right to their core, but they still can put up resistance to your chewing. If it tastes still raw and it is too crunchy, carefully add some more stock (from the 200ml extra dose).
      Check the seasoning, correct the salt if necessary and stir (step 3 - pic. B).

  • 5.
    Binding the rice “all’onda”

    • Butter - 15gr (part 2 of 2)
    • The grated parmigiano cheese - 60gr
    • the cooked rice
    • The minced parsley

    • One wooden spoon or silicon spatula

      Get the saucepan off the heat. Let the rice rest for about one and a half minutes (ratio should be: three minute every kilo of risotto). This resting is essential to stabilise the starches before adding the butter.
      Then, add the butter to the risotto and stir allowing the fat emulsifying with the starchy liquor (step 5 - pic. A). Use the spoon or the spatula to bring the rice from the outside to the centre in large circular movements, collecting it from the bottom and moving it to the top. Add the cheese and the parsley, then stir again to mix them evenly (step 5 - pic. B).
      The mixture will gain consistency becoming creamy and billowy or “all’onda” as we call it in Italian. If you think it’s still too thick, gradually add small amounts of stock and stir again. That's why it is easier to bind the risotto when it is slightly drier rather than too runny: after adding the butter and the cheese you can't put it back on the hobs.
      Allow it to rest for no more than one minute and then serve it.

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