Wednesday, October 26, 2011

on my first dish.

i have wanted to share this recipe with ya'll for a long time. see, it's not just any old recipe. it holds a tiny little piece of my heart. this was the first dish i ever cooked that i made a real effort for, back as 19-year-old colleen in college. i bought a bag, a whole bag(!), of frozen peas (what does a girl do with all those peas?!) i scoured the shelves for arborio rice. i sliced an onion, and as any novice would, it took me twenty minutes. so this recipe means something to me. let's start with the ingredients of the one, the only, red wine risotto.
but of course, we're missing the real star of the show - the red wine. the best varietal to use is amarone - found in any italian section of your wine store. you can always keep the wine out if that creates don't/can't drink wine. don't worry. i'll drink your share.
as the years have gone on, i have perfected making this dish. i don't read the recipe before starting. i don't need it written it down. i know it by heart. it doesn't take me twenty minutes to cut the onion anymore. i've made it for many people i've loved, some still here, some gone on from my life. but everytime i make it i go back to my college kitchen, fumbling my way through my first recipe without my mom to assist.
my favorite part of the recipe is putting in the garlic before toasting the rice in the pan. it smells ah.mah.zing. it's the best thing in the world. all these years, and i still wait for that part with bated breath.
as you add in the wine and stock you'll know it's time to add in more once the rice starts sticking to the pan. this is the first sign that the liquid is evaporated and absorbed. after all the stock is done, it's time to add the peas and parm. and, as i learned back in college, frozen peas, rice, parm and wine all keep. when you want to make this just remember to pick up some stock and an onion. if you don't have garlic and butter permanently in your kitchen and on your grocery shopping list - yikes. get it together.
enjoy your dinner with a nice glass of amarone, and call it a night. i promise this is one dish you will make over and over again. i know i have.


  1. I love hearing stories behind food! This does look delicious. and I love that you said if you don't have garlic and butter in your kitchen you need to get it together. Seriously!

  2. Looks yummy and very healthy ingredients you added. Love it.


  3. Confession: I made risotto only once and it was bland crap. Must try again.

    I'm depending on you as my teacher, as well as Padma from TC, whom I rely on for advice on anything.

  4. This looks amazing, but I think you missed the point of college. You're supposed to eat nothing but ramen and make Taco Bell runs at 3am. Duhhhh.

  5. Mmm mm mmmmm! So tasty - I LOVE risotto! I love that this was your first Colleen-cooked meal too!

  6. Oh my. I need to make this ASAP!!! Looks delicious.


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