I must have read CL's Risotto chapter countless times because just from memory I had remembered that one of Tom's risotto recipes involved rosemary, and I knew that this particular risotto would go wonderfully with the mellow-flavored pandiramerino.
45. Leek and Sheep's Cheese Risotto - *Risotto*
The rosemary does not show up in the title of the risotto because it is a very subtle flavor! I had some leftover homemade rosemary oil from making the bread rolls, so I decided to use that as my base, rather than ordinary EVOO. (In a Rachael Ray type of way, I will tell you for the hundredth time that it means Extra-Virgin Olive Oil.)
The base of the risotto involved leeks (durr!), garlic, and rosemary. Here is where I make my blog confession that I am not exactly the sharpest tool in the shed when it comes to 'newish' ingredients. I have never bought, nor ever eaten, leeks, ever! In fact, I didn't even know what they looked like so I had to do a Google Image sort of thing for them, sent the pic to Rafa's Blackberry, so that he could pick me up four leeks at the grocery store on his way home. He did a great job, and we did indeed have leeks that night!
some lovely rosemary oil (isn't that green fabulous!) and the spring colors of the leeks (I think leeks are actually a winter veg, as Tom says the risotto is a wintry meal, but they look Spring-like to me) ;)
I sweated down some leeks and garlic with rosemary in the rosemary oil and butter. After just a few minutes, the leeks became lovely and soft and ready for the rest of the risotto ingredients.
I then added arborio rice, tomato pureé, and mixed it all around the lovely leek juices, before adding some white wine to fizz and bubble for about a minute. The rest of the risotto was quite simple; I kept topping up the risotto mixture with chicken stock, and it was ready after 30 minutes or so! I added grated pecorino romano (the sheep's cheese of the evening!), but didn't add any more butter as I don't like my risotto too buttery.
The risotto was very lovely, though I think it was a bit saltier than I am used to. I think this was due to the fact that I made the stock too concentrated -- see, I bought a big jar of it at Costco a while ago, with instructions of how many teaspoons per cup of water. But I threw out the jar when I transfered the powder to my lovely Living Kitchen storage jar, and it's been guesswork ever since then. I think I've learned my lesson, and have an inkling of how much powder per liquid there should be in the future!
However, the richness of the cheese with the rosemary went perfectly with the bread!! Since the bread had only a touch of sweetness and provided an unbelievable crunch from the olive oil, it was the most wonderful accompaniment to the soft and warming risotto. Another risotto hit, courtesy of Tom N-D!
(And in a couple of days shall make arancini with my fabulous mozzarella!)