Four Cheese Risotto

Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 35 min
Total time: 40 min
Yield: 4 servings
Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients:
    • 1 tbsp Butter
    • 1 Shallot
    • 12 oz Arborio Rice
    • 4 cup Vegetable Broth
    • 1 cup Dry White Wine
    • 2 oz Gorgonzola or Blue Cheese
    • 2 oz Cream Cheese
    • 2 oz Jack Cheese
    • 2 oz Parmigiano Reggiano
    • A Pinch Salt and Pepper
Instructions
  1. Prepare all your ingredients and warm up or make the broth.
  2. Warm the butter in a frying pan, thinly slice the shallot and toss it in. Let it cook for five min. (It shouldn’t become brown.) Toss in the rice and stir constantly, it has to absorb the butter and become almost transparent. Add the wine and stir until the alcohol is completely evaporated.
  3. Add the warm broth (I keep it boiling in a separate pot) one ladle at the time. When one ladle is completely absorbed, not before, add another one. Do this for about 20 min, check the rice cooking time. Whenever during the cooking process sprinkle with a pinch of salt.
  4. Use one ladle of broth to melt the cream cheese and jack cheese to create a creamy, even blend (use a hand blender for better results). Just before the rice is cooked add the creamy mixture and let it dry a little.
  5. Lower the fire to a minimum and add the remaining cheeses. Stir until you have an even texture.
  6. Serve warm. Plate the risotto and sprinkle it with some additional Parmigiano and a pinch of black pepper.
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 Four Cheese Risotto by Camilla Isley Oct-19-2015

Vodka Rigatoni


Total time: 20 min
Difficulty: Easy
Servings: 2
Ingredients:
  • 6 oz Pasta
  • 1 cup Tomato Puree
  • 1 cup Vodka
  • 3 oz Cream Cheese
  • 4 spoons Parmesan Cheese
  • Shallot
  • 1 spoon Olive Oil

This is a typical Italian recipe from the region Emilia Romagna, which is one of the best cooking hubs of Italy. (If it doesn’t ring a bell think Bolognese sauce, Ragu, Lasagna… they all come from there!)

  1. Prepare all your ingredients and set a pot of water to boil for the pasta. You can prepare the sauce in the time it takes for the water to boil and the pasta to cook. For this kind of recipe I prefer to use Rigatoni pasta, but you can use any other kind you like.
  2. Mince one small shallot. (Shallots are tastier, but if you have any other kind of onion at home that’s ok too.)
  3. Brown the shallot in a skillet adding a spoon of olive oil. After a couple of minutes add 1 cup of vodka and let it reduce until you have more or less ¼ of the liquid left.
  4. Whenever the water is boiling throw in the pasta.
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  5. As blending ingredient I’m using cream cheese, this is the lighter, healthier option. I usually use fat-free or 2x protein. But if you’re looking for a tastier meal rather than saving on calories you can use cooking cream instead, if you really don’t care about calories and want to make this pasta more than delicious you should use Mascarpone cheese. Click to see the different calories in the blending ingredients.
  6. If you’re using the cooking cream or whipped cream cheese put in 6oz. Mascarpone 4oz.
  7. If you’re using regular cream cheese while the vodka evaporates put 3oz in a pot and add one or two ladles of the pasta’s cooking water (after you’ve salted it). Squash and mix with a fork until you have a mostly homogeneous white creamy liquid.
  8. When most of the vodka is evaporated, add the tomato sauce and mix, then add your blending ingredient of choice and mix again.
  9. Sprinkle everything with a pinch of salt and lower the fire to low.
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  10. Now would be a good time to grate the Parmesan cheese. You can buy it already grated, but taste-wise I find that whole cheese is better, and since grating it at home is really easy, I prefer it. To great it I cut the cheese in small cubes, drop them in the food processor, and leave it on until the grain satisfies me.
  11. When the pasta is cooked drain it.
  12. Throw the pasta in the skillet, add two generous spoons of grated Parmesan cheese, and mix for a minute or two on the stove.
  13. Plate the pasta, sprinkle with some additional Parmesan cheese, and serve.
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    The last pic is an example with Rotini pasta… you can use your favorite kind of pasta!

Vodka Rigatoni Pasta Recipe by Camilla Isley