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Rice with Zucchini, Shallot, and Pecorino

Updated: Oct 1, 2020

Riso con zucchine, scalogno, e pecorino romano

Riso - not risotto...

This dish was dreamed up as a creamy & cheesy zucchini risotto in my mind, but... when I looked through my cupboards, I realized I didn't have arborio rice, which is the type of rice you use when making risotto. So, considering that it's a global pandemic and running out to the grocery store for just one thing isn't super smart, I opted to improvise and used long grain white rice instead. And guess what?! It tasted delicious and took less time to make than risotto does. Win, win, I say. A couple of my Italian friends were not pleased with this culinary poetic license, so I'll make proper risotto soon to appease them :)

La Ricetta ~ The Recipe

Gli ingredienti ~ the ingredients

  • riso ~ rice - 1 1/2 cups

  • brodo vegetale ~ vegetable broth/stock - 2+ cups

  • zucchine ~ zucchini - 2 large or 3 small

  • scalogno ~ shallot - 1

  • aglio ~ garlic - 1 large clove or 2-3 small cloves

  • olio extra vergine d'oliva ~ e.v.o.o. - 3 tbsp

  • sale ~ salt (to taste)

  • pepe ~ pepper (to taste)

  • pecorino romano ~ pecorino cheese - 1 cup

Step 1. Cook your rice according the rice:liquid ratio on the packaging, but be sure to use vegetable broth instead of water. This gives the rice a nice color and deeper flavor.

Step 2. While the rice is cooking, use the largest slots of a cheese grater to grate your zucchini and pecorino. Set them aside.

Step 3. Chop your shallot and mince your garlic. Heat a frying pan or large & shallow sauce pan, add your e.v.o.o., and toss the shallot and garlic into the warm oil. Cook for a few minutes until shallots are slightly translucent. Be careful not to burn the garlic!

Step 4. Add your zucchini to the shallot mix with some salt and let the zucchini begin to express a bit of its liquid (about 2-3 minutes). Then add the pecorino, some pepper, and stir all together.

Step 5. Add the finished rice to the zucchini and cheese mixture. I added a bit more vegetable stock and olive oil at this point to make the dish a little creamier and richer.

Step 6. Serve in a bowl and top with a bit more pecorino (because there can never be too much cheese).

Buon appetito!

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