Spicy pangrattato risotto

I love this dish – the rice is cooked so simply that the flavours come out beautifully, and then you get these amazing crispy breadcrumbs on top which are a real shake-up of the senses with their crunch against the incredibly soft rice. It's a recipe that can be made really cheaply, but when you're eating it you'd never believe that was the case. It just works.

Nutritional Information (amount per serving)

Calories
438kcal
Carbs
49.8g
Sugar
2.2g
Fat
17.1g
Saturates
8.6g
Protein
13.6g

Serves 8   Approx time: 55   Difficulty: not too tricky

Ingredients

  • 1 lemon, zest of
  • 3 dried bird's-eye chillies
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 6 good-quality salted anchovy fillets in oil
  • ½ large loaf ciabatta, stale if possible, cut into chunks
  • olive oil
  • 1 basic risotto recipe
  • 700 ml organic vegetable or chicken stock, hot
  • 50 g butter
  • 1 small handful Parmesan cheese, freshly grated, plus a block for grating
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
 

Method

Whiz the lemon zest, dried chillies, garlic, anchovies and bread chunks in a food processor with a bit of oil from the anchovy tin until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Heat a large frying pan and add a splash of olive oil. Fry the breadcrumbs in the oil until darkened and crisp, then drain them on a piece of kitchen paper and allow to cool.

Make your basic risotto recipe. Place a large saucepan on a medium to high heat and pour in half the stock, followed by all your risotto base. Stirring all the time, gently bring to the boil, turn the heat down and simmer until almost all the stock has been absorbed. Add the rest of the stock a ladleful at a time until the rice is cooked. You might not need all your stock. Be careful not to overcook the rice – check it throughout cooking to make sure it's a pleasure to eat. It should hold its shape but be soft, creamy and oozy. And the overall texture should be slightly looser than you think you want it.

Turn off the heat, beat in your butter and Parmesan, check the seasoning and add a little salt and pepper if needed. Don't be too generous with the salt because the pangrattato has salt in it too and you don't want to overdo it!

Place a lid on the pan and leave the risotto to rest for a minute. You can now take the pan to the table so that everyone can help themselves, or divide the risotto between individual serving plates and sprinkle the pangrattato over the top. Place a block of Parmesan on the table with a grater and tuck in.





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