Risotto Primavera requires making a “soffritto,” which is the base of all traditional Italian risottos and tomato sauces. Once you have mastered this step, you are half way to learning all you need to know to cook authentic Italian food!
Ingredients (Serves 4):
Rice for risotto—Arborio, Vialone Nano or Carnaroli (1⅓ cups)
half a white onion
a small carrot
two sticks of celery
a bell pepper (yellow or red)
string beans (between ¾ cup and 1 cup)
coarse cooking salt (2 teaspoons)
Optional: butter (1 oz.)
(Note: You should use approximately equal quantities of all vegetables, once chopped)
Chop onion into very thin slices.
Cut celery sticks into thin rounds.
Remove the top and bottom from the carrot, peel it, and grate into small pieces.
Cover the bottom of a deep, wide pot with olive oil, place over a high flame, then add the carrot, onion, and celery.
Pour in a bit of water, stir, cover, and allow the contents to cook at a low boil. Check periodically, stirring and adding more water if necessary to avoid burning.
Vegetables and Rice
Remove the top and bottom of the zucchini, cut into four strips, and then slice into very small pieces.
Cut the string beans finely.
Wash the bell pepper, slice open and then into four sections. Remove the inside and stem. Cut into small pieces.
Note that you may use any vegetables you like, as long as you chop them finely.
Add all the chopped vegetables to the pot, along with a bit of hot water. Turn up heat, add two teaspoons of coarse cooking salt, stir, and cover.
Since the string beans require the most time to cook, monitor them. Once they have cooked partially, move on to the next step.
Boil water in a separate pot, so that it is ready to add when necessary. You may also make fresh vegetable broth and use that instead. However, it is better to use water than store-bought broth.
Pour the rice into the vegetable pot, and once it has absorbed some heat, add boiling water—enough so that the rice can boil and the ingredients do not burn.
Continue to add water when necessary and stir.
The rice should cook at a boil for 13-15 minutes in total.
When the water/broth no longer rises to the surface, because the rice has absorbed all of it, the dish is done cooking. Turn off the stove.
Add butter if you like, once the pot is off the heat.