Posted by: lisetta | January 6, 2008

Risotto agli spinaci

SpinachHow could I resist this beautiful spinach at the W. African vegetable truck this afternoon, sitting right beneath large bunches of fresh dill? I bought both, thinking I’d make a spanakopita. Only problem was that moments later at the Fresh Grocer, my mind was already turning towards a more hearty wintertime dish (veal braised in wine), so the idea fell to the wayside.
By the time dinnertime rolled around, though, thoughts of spinach returned, so I decided instead to make a spinach risotto. Earlier in the afternoon, my neighbor Jeff, the Weight Watcher’s evangelist, suggested that one eat risotto and pasta no more than twice a month. Where’s the pleasure in that? 
This is how I did it:
Saute 1/4 of a sweet onion in olive oil and butter until soft
Add abundant fresh thyme
Add two handfuls of arborio rice
Add a splash of pinot grigio wine, let it absorb
Add vegetable broth in batches
Thinly slice some spinach and add it to the rice when it’s just about cooked
Cook the spinach with the rice until it’s done (remember: it should retain its shape) 
Serve immediately, with zested parmigiano reggiano
 risotto agli spinaci
Had never used thyme in a risotto soffritto, but will again. This dish was light yet flavorful. Reminded me of a risotto I ate near Cremona with rughetta (arugula) and stracchino (a fresh cheese).  I still don’t know why anyone would want to add heavy cream to a risotto. 

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