Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sweet Potato and Spinach Risotto

I bought arborio rice (which is the type of rice you use when making a risotto) a while ago and totally forgot about it. I saw a recipe on another food blog for a risotto that looked really good so here is my version below. Most people think making risotto is very hard and time consuming, however, if I can do it with three kids running around my feet (and I was actually feeding the baby dinner in between running back and forth to the stove to stir it) then anyone can! Mine turned out great and I didn't have to stand at the stove stirring for a half an hour (you just can't forget about it!) The sweet potatoes make it a little sweet and it is a very filling main course or serve a small portion as a side dish. (I almost didn't have room for ice cream after eating it.... imagine that!!)

A couple risotto tips:
1) make sure you use arborio rice (can find in rice section of any supermarket)
2) make sure you heat the liquid (chicken or vegetable broth) before adding to risotto or it will take longer and will stop the rice from cooking if it is cold - I just put the broth in a sauce pan on another burner over low and added as I needed it to the risotto
3) again, you don't have to stand at the stove for 30 minutes but don't forget about it either!!

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
olive oil
kosher salt & pepper
6 cups chicken broth
5 tbsp unsalted butter
3 small shallots, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup parmesan cheese (freshly grated if you have it)
1 1/2 cups fresh spinach , roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 400. Place diced sweet potatoes on baking sheet and toss with a little bit of olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast about 30 minutes, tossing occasionally, until slightly browned. Set aside.

To make the risotto, heat chicken broth in a sauce pan and simmer on low. In another sauce pan, melt butter and saute shallots and garlic over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add rice and stir until rice is coated with butter. Add white wine and cook for about 4 minutes. Add one cup of the broth and stir with a wooden spoon until the broth is absorbed. Continue to add broth, one cup at a time. Keep stirring and when mixture dries out, add more broth. It should take about 30 minutes for the rice to be fully cooked and to use up all the broth.

Remove risotto from heat and stir in parmesan cheese, spinach and sweet potatoes. Combine well. Season with a dash of salt and pepper and serve warm.

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