Roasted Red Pepper Pesto
I must admit Risotto is not from the region of Italy my parents are from.
It is from the Northern part of Italy and my family is from Rome.
Pasta is the main carb in Rome but, for me risotto is such a comfort food.
I make it throughout winter as a hot side dish and it has taken me years to get it just right.
Now my mom asks me for recipes for added interest to her weeknight meals!
I make it as part of our dinner or by itself with a large fresh salad. It's creamy goodness is great on a cold or rainy night.
Roasted Red Pepper is one of my favourite vegetables, it adds flavour to many of my dishes or as a side on it's own.
This puree is more Portuguese than Italian and this came to me as an idea
An idea of why not?
Let's try it and see,
Well it was really delish and the whole family loved it!
Especially the kids who are not so small anymore and still don't want to eat their veggies.
3 tbsp EVOO
1 leek, washed, chopped
1-2 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
1 cup italian arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
3 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1/3 cup grated parmesan or pecorino cheese
1 cup roasted red pepper*
1 clove garlic
Preheat a medium pot, add oil and leeks. Cook on medium heat to soften leeks until they are slightly translucent.Add the rice and stir to coat for 1-2 min.
Add the wine, stirring until wine is absorbed.
Lower the heat and add 1 cup of broth and continue simmering & stirring. When the broth has almost absorbed add the next cup and continue until the grain has plumped and is not longer white. Taste for doneness and seasoning.
While the rice cooks, puree with a processor/blender or hand mixer the roasted red peppers and garlic. If the mixture is too thick add 1 tbsp EVOO and continue to puree.
Place 2 whole peppers either under the broiler, on the BBQ or ontop of the grill of a gas burner. Turning as the skin chars and blackens. Don't worry you are just burning the skin.
Place on a baking sheet to cool slightly..you will see many chefs cover with plastic or put the peppers in a bag...this is not necessary and it softens the vegetables too much..my Italian mom would not approve of that.
With a sharp knife scrape off the burnt peel. If too much peel sticks to the pepper, rinse it quickly under running water...but very quickly as to not rinse off the flavour!
Core and discard seeds. With your fingers pull strips of the pepper lengthwise as it tears along the grain. Place in a container for pureeing.*
Enjoy with love