This creamy, cheesy Zucchini Risotto from Rach's newest cookbook, Rachael Ray 50, gets a kick from saffron, citrus, and smoky chili paste.
Rach uses her Cast-Iron Pan with Skillet & Wooden Spoon to make this risotto.
Adapted from Rachael Ray 50: Memories and Meals from a Sweet and Savory Life by Rachael Ray. Copyright © 2019 by Rachael Ray. Used with permission by Ballantine Books. All rights reserved.
- 2 quarts vegetable stock
- 1 ½ to 2 teaspoons saffron threads
- 2 large curls each orange peel and lemon peel, remove the colored part of the peel only, not the white pith
- 6 tablespoons EVOO
- 2 small zucchini, finely chopped - if large, halved lengthwise and scrape the seeds away before chopping
- 1 tablespoon Calabrian chili paste, or ½ to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 3 cups Arborio or Carnaroli rice
- 1 ½ cups white wine (⅓ bottle)
- 6 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 ½ cups freshly grated Parmigiano or Pecorino Romano or a combo
- Juice of 1 lemon, or juice of ½ orange
- Fresh mint and finely chopped fresh flat parsley, to serve
In a large sauce pot over medium-low heat, warm the vegetable stock. Add the saffron, orange peel, and lemon peel.
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add 3 tablespoons EVOO, 3 turns of the pan. Then add zucchini and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until lightly browned and tender-crisp. Season with salt and add the chili paste to taste. Toss to combine and remove from the heat.
Heat a large round-bottomed pan over medium-high heat. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons EVOO, 3 turns of the pan. Add the onion and sweat for 2 to 3 minutes until softened. Add garlic, stir in the rice, and cook for 1 minute more. Add the wine and let it get fully absorbed. Begin adding the stock a few ladles at a time, each time vigorously stirring with a wooden spoon or risotto spoon (hollow in the middle). Once you begin adding stock, the risotto will cook in about 18 to 20 minutes to al dente. In the last few minutes, after adding the last few ladles of stock, stir in butter, cheese, and zucchini. Finish with the citrus juice. Season to taste with salt. Top with mint and parsley.