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Saffron Risotto with Peas and Fresh Goat Cheese

Preparation 00:00 Cook Time 00:00 Total Time 0:00

This brightly colored risotto is always a big hit. Crumbling in the saffron as the risotto cooks rather than steeping it ahead of time is a little unconventional, so if you like you can steep the threads in a little bit of the broth for 30 minutes or so before adding. To be honest I don't find it makes a bit of difference. In fact, please apply this attitude toward your risotto cooking in general. Risotto has a bit of a reputation as challenging to cook, and it shouldn't. The keys are just to stir frequently to release the starch from the rice (you don't need to obsess about stirring constantly) and to quit while you're ahead.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespooons good butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced small
  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon saffron threads (a good hearty pinch)
  • 5 cups good vegetable broth (I still love this one)
  • 10 ounces small frozen peas
  • 4 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup grated pecorino romano cheese
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Extra-virgin olive oil for finishing

Instructions

  • In a large pan with a heavy bottom, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion along with a good pinch of salt and cook, stirring frequently, until beginning to soften, about five minutes. Stir in the rice and cook, still stirring frequently, for two minutes.
  • Add the wine and cook, stirring almost constantly, until nearly absorbed. Lower heat to medium if necessary to prevent any hint of burning. Then begin adding the broth by the cupful (or so), stirring frequently throughout. With the first addition, crumble in the saffron threads. Continue adding broth as the rice absorbs it. Add a big sprinkle of salt if your broth isn't salty. Stir in the peas with the last addition. Risotto is finished cooking when each grain of rice is tender but still has a nice hint of chewy bite, and there's a little bit of delicious starchy broth remaining. (Keep in mind that the broth will thicken as you add the cheeses and let the risotto rest for a few minutes after cooking.)
  • Off the heat, stir in the cheeses. Let the risotto rest for about five minutes. Then drizzle with a little olive oil if you like and serve.

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Recipe Notes

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