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Pino Posteraro’s Risotto

This recipe is a tasty and tantalizing vegetable risotto pinched from the pages of Pino Posteraro’s cookbook : Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill: A Lifetime of Excellence in the Kitchen. Pino is the founder and talented executive chef of Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill & Enoteca, which can be found nestled among the converted warehouses and rail yards of Yaletown in Vancouver. Pino is a dear friend and supporter of Domenica Fiore, and was the first to serve our Reserva on each and every table in his restaurant. His cookbook is a collection of over 100 of his favorite recipes – from rustic classics to modern Mediterranean. It’s a challenge to only pick one!

Preparation time: 25 minutes
Serves 4
30 mL extra-virgin olive oil
50 g green asparagus, sliced and woody stems removed (about 12 stalks)
4 scallions, finely sliced
80 g shelled green peas
1/2 onion, finely chopped
250 g arborio or carnaroli rice
30 mL dry white wine
1 L vegetable stock, boiling
2 g young pea shoots
5 mL chopped Italian parsley
5 mL chopped basil
30 mL unsalted butter
15 mL grated Parmesan cheese
15 mL chili oil
Heat 15 mL of the olive oil in a frying pan on medium heat. Add asparagus and sauté lightly for 2 minutes. Transfer asparagus to a small plate. To the frying pan, add scallions and green peas. Sauté for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Heat the remaining 15 mL olive oil in medium saucepan on medium heat. Add onion and cook for 2 minutes, until translucent. Add rice and stir constantly until it becomes translucent – about 6 to 8 minutes. Add white wine and cook until liquid has completely evaporated.
Add a ladleful of boiling stock to the rice and allow to cook, stirring continuously from the centre of the pot toward the sides, until all the liquid is absorbed. Continue adding stock, one ladleful at a time, stirring constantly until it has all been fully absorbed. (The whole process should take 15 to 18 minutes for a risotto cooked al dente.) Immediately remove from the heat, add asparagus, scallions, green peas, pea shoots, parsley, basil, chives, butter, and Parmesan cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper

To serve: Ladle risotto into individual bowls. Garnish with a drizzle of chili oil. Serve immediately.
Suggested Wine Pairing : Condrieu 2002 La Bonnette, René  Rostaing, Rhône, France