Since the day rice has become my favourite, I have been yearning to prepare it in different ways. After I was done with many variations in Indian style rice, I turned to the International ones. You must remember my Mexican rice and Quinoa skillet recipe which was a super hit at home and both S and I, loved it to the core.
After Mexican, my second love is Italian food. I can have it every day, all three meals straight. There is so much variety and the use of cheese in most of the dishes, is just so tempting. Most of the dishes are one pot meals in themselves which makes it easier to cook and indulge.
Although I have been into Italian food for a long time, Risotto is one thing which I rarely prepare and eat. Reason is I like my risotto to be buttery and cheesy and without these two things, it’s just not the same for me.
This recipe though, I have tried to make butterless. And while I would still go back to the buttery version any day, this one was pretty much ok as well. I didn’t skip cheese though and have used soft cheese. And of course, I wouldn’t dare miss parmesan into Risotto. Something to make it rich!
Try this recipe if you are looking for a quick ‘n easy Risotto. Spinach adds lots of goodness so yes I can call it healthier too. I have added some wine, but you can skip it totally it only makes a slight difference anyways.
What you need?
- 1 cup full rice preferably arborio ( I used my Indian smaller rice variety)
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 bag fresh spinach or 3-4 cubes of frozen spinach
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 25-30 gms of any soft cheese
- 1 handful Parmesan (to garnish)
- 1- 1 1/2 cups water or more depending on the rice variety
- ½ cup white wine
How to make?
Bring a pan of water to the boil. Add the stock cube to the boiling water and mix until it dissolves.
In the meanwhile, heat olive oil in a pan/wok. Slowly soften the onion in the olive oil on a very low heat, do not brown it. Add the rice to the onions and coat all the rice in the oil, adding a little more if needed.
Add a ladle of the veg water to the rice, keep stirring and don’t let it stick. As the water evaporates, keep adding ladle by ladle and stirring all the time until all the water has gone or the rice is cooked.
In the last 10 minutes of cooking add the wine, spinach and the cheese. Mix well and cook till wine evaporates. Serve immediately with a sprinkling of freshly grated Parmesan or grana padano.
If you don’t have the time to stand and stir, ladle by ladle, you can add all the stock after the first ladle and put in the oven on a low heat or leave on the hob on a very low heat. The results aren’t quite as good but still tasty.
You may use any soft cheese like Ricotta cheese, cottage cheese or even Mozzarella cheese depending on your desired taste and consistency.
I didn’t have Arborio rice at the time so I have used an Indian variety called Sona Masorri which is smaller in size than basmati and a little bit sticky too. So it goes well for the Risotto dishes.
If you would like to try your hands on to the Mexican variety, don’t forget to check out this Mexican brown rice and Quinoa recipe. Its super awesome!