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Spicy pangrattato risotto
Really simple, bold flavours
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“A pangrattato is basically a crunchy breadcrumb topping – it's simple yet tastes incredible ”
½ large loaf ciabatta , stale if possible, cut into chunks
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
freshly ground black pepper
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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.