Monday, April 23, 2007

sunday supper, continued : pesto! and another way to get rice into the meal

Amazingly, I did not eat the Branzino with rice. At least, not during the main part of the meal. The theme of fresh started with the pasta course, Pesto alla Genovese.

But of course, I'll still manage to sneak some rice into the meal, and we finished off with Arborio Rice Pudding.

Recipes after the jump:

The pesto recipe is adapted from one by Mario Batali on Molto Mario:


For the pesto:
5 tablespoons pine nuts (I used more pine nuts and more basil than the original recipe called for because I just like it a little less oily)
2 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves, preferably "picolo fino"
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 pinch sea salt
5 ounces Ligurian extra-virgin olive oil
(I admit, I threw some parmiggiano-reggiano in the mix, which Mario does not do. He might hate me for that, but it was good. I only used a small chunk. At least it was really good cheese...)

For the pasta:
1 lb dry linguine (Mario's recipe calls for Trenette, which is pretty much the same thing as linguine, but from Genoa and the Liguria region of Italy.)
6-8 baby red potatoes, boiled and halved
1/2 pound haricots verts, blanched and refreshed

In a food processor, combine garlic and pine nuts, pulse a couple of times to chop. Add basil and salt (and cheese if using), and process to a paste. With the processor running, open the tube in the cover and slowly drizzle in the olive oil so that it is completely incorporated. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Cook pasta according to package directions. When pasta is al dente, drain and add to a bowl with the cooked potatoes and haricots verts. Add the pesto (about a cup is good for a pound of pasta, but just add to your taste) and toss well to coat the pasta and vegetables. If you have any leftover pesto, you can store in a jar, topped with olive oil, and keep in the refrigerator for several weeks.

The rice pudding was a very simple classic recipe for Spanish rice pudding (Arroz con leche) from "Seductions of Rice" by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid. That is an awesome title for a cookbook. I adjusted the amount of sugar in the recipe because I find it way too sweet.


4 1/2 cups whole milk
1 2-inch stick cinnamon
rind of half a lemon, in large slices
3/4 cup Spanish or Italian medium-grain rice (I used Arborio, which is short grain, but that's what I had. Arborio is nice and starchy, and does away with the need for an egg to thicken the pudding)
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1/3 cup sugar
pinch of salt
ground cinnamon for dusting

Combine the milk, cinnamon stick and lemon rinds in a medium saucepot and heat until almost boiling. Add the rice and stir, lower the heat to a very slow simmer. Simmer, stirring occasionally to avoid sticking, for 45-50 minutes. When rice is tender, add the butter, sugar and pinch of salt. Continue to simmer, stirring, for 5 more minutes. Serve hot or cooled with a dusting of cinnamon.


B said...

The Michael guy who does the casual entertaining show on FN does a chocolate risotto with Arborio that looked really good.

Have you ever made kheer?

faycat said...

I haven't made kheer, but I love it. I should really try that next time, if I can find some cardamom. I have ground cardamom, but I really want to try it with whole pods, the way it is in restaurants.