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Lentil Risotto - Risotto con le Lenticchie

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One often hears about rice and beans. Rice and Lentils is just as nice a combination. This recipe will serve 4, and though you must begin the night before, will take about an hour to prepare once you start cooking. As a wine, I'd suggest a rosé.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces (300 g) rice
  • 6 ounces (150 g) dried green lentils
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano
  • 1 finely sliced medium-sized onion
  • 1-2 tablespoons tomato paste (optional)
  • 1 quart (liter) beef broth (made from bullion will do, as will vegetable)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

Soak the lentils in water to cover over night. Drain them and put them in a pot with cold water to cover, bring the pot to a boil and simmer them for a half hour. Drain them, reserving the cooking liquid.

Take a broad casserole and sauté the onion in the butter until it turns golden. Add the lentils and a ladle or two of their cooking liquid and the tomato paste if you're using it. Season with salt and pepper and cook over a brisk flame for 15 minutes, adding more cooking liquid if need be.

While the lentils are cooking, bring the broth to a slow boil.

Stir the rice into the lentils and finish cooking the risotto, adding broth a bit at a time. When the rice reaches the proper al dente texture, stir in the grated cheese, check seasoning, and serve. The risotto should not be too firm, and therefore that you shouldn't skimp on the broth at the end. As a variation, you can also prepare this as a soup, by sautéing the onion and then adding the lentils and all their broth to the pot, followed a half hour later by the rice.

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