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Sandro’s Simple Sugo Swaps

Sandro’s Simple Sugo Swaps

The two most important elements in any good risotto are rice, and a little time. When it comes to choosing the rice, I use either arborio or vialone nano. Both varieties are short grain and high in starch, making the risotto super creamy. They’re typically grown in northern Italy but some Australian producers are also growing them locally. Holding their shape even when cooked, these varieties will ensure a tasty, perfect risotto with a delicious texture.

Sandro’s Simple Sugo Swaps

Classic Risotto

Serves 4
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 50 minutes

a generous splash of olive oil
50 g butter
2 brown onions, fi nely chopped
21⁄2 cups (500 g) arborio or vialone nano rice
1 cup (250 ml) white wine
1–1.5 litres chicken or vegetable stock
sea salt and freshly ground
black pepper
finely grated parmesan, to serve

 

Heat the olive oil and butter in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium–low heat, add the onion and cook for 10 minutes or until softened. Add the rice and cook, stirring, for 2–3 minutes until the rice is well coated in the olive oil and butter (you want all the grains to look shiny).
Stir in the white wine and simmer until it is reduced and absorbed by the rice. Reduce the heat to low. Stirring constantly, add a couple of large ladlefuls of stock at a time, allowing each batch of stock to be completely absorbed by the rice before adding the next. All up this should take about 30–35 minutes. Reserve the last ladleful of stock.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir through the fi nal ladle of stock, then cover and leave to rest for 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve topped with a generous scattering of parmesan.

 

 

Caper, Black Olive, Anchovy and Chilli

1 tablespoon salted baby capers, rinsed

handful of black olives, pitted

2 anchovy fillets, torn

good pinch of dried chilli flakes, or to taste

good pinch of dried oregano

Add the capers, olives, anchovies and chilli when cooking the garlic. Add the dried oregano with the tomato and continue with the recipe.

 

Capsicum, Parsley and Pancetta

1 brown onion, finely chopped

1 red capsicum, seeds removed, finely chopped

80 g piece of trimmed pancetta, finely chopped

small handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Replace the garlic with the onion, capsicum and pancetta and cook over medium heat for 8 minutes or until light golden in colour. Continue with the recipe, then add the chopped parsley before serving.

 

Chicken, Baby Spinach and Peas

300 g chicken breast fillet, chopped into 2–3 cm chunks

1 cup (120 g) frozen peas

2 handfuls of baby spinach leaves

small handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Add the chicken when cooking the garlic. Add the frozen peas with the tomato and continue with the recipe. Toss through the baby spinach and parsley just before serving.

 

Trout, Caper and Parsley

600 g whole trout, cleaned, scaled, gutted and filleted, skin and bones removed, cut into 2–3 cm chunks

1 tablespoon salted baby capers, rinsed, or black olives, pitted, or both!

2 large handfuls of flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Add the trout and capers and/or olives with the tomato and continue with the recipe. Toss through the chopped parsley just before serving.

 

‘Summer Garden’ Sugo

1 brown onion, finely chopped

300 g green beans, topped and tailed

2 zucchini, sliced

handful of basil leaves

Add the onion when cooking the garlic, then add the green beans and zucchini and cook for 10 minutes before adding the tomato. Toss through the basil just before you add the partially cooked pasta and continue with the recipe.

 

The Doctor’s Diet by Sandro Demaio is published by Macmillan Australia, RRP $34.99.

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