We love risotto and make it quite often. The nice thing about this recipe for bell pepper risotto is that no flavor is lost because the bell peppers are cooked in the stock that will be used for the risotto (and of course the trimmings are used for the stock, too). Another advantage of cooking the bell peppers like this, is that it allows you to peel the peppers quite easily. This risotto is perfect for summer, but as the quality of bell peppers is constant year-round in this part of the world (as they come from greenhouses), this can be made any time of the year.
For 2 servings
2 red bell peppers (or 1 red and 1 yellow)
130 grams (2/3 cup) risotto rice, such as carnaroli
80 ml (1/3 cup) dry white wine
3 Tbsp butter
1 large or 2 small shallots, minced
1 onion, 1 carrot, 1 stick celery
salt and freshly ground black pepper
freshly grated parmigiano reggiano
fresh mint or flat leaf parsley, for garnish
Clean the bell peppers and cut them into wedges (click here to read how), but reserve the trimmings. Chop the onion, celery, and carrot.
Put bell peppers, trimmings, carrot, celery, and carrot in a pot with 750 ml (3 cups) of water with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Cover, bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
After those 20 minutes, lift out the bell peppers…
…and put them under an upside-down bowl to cool. The humidity under the bowl will help to loosen the skins so it will be easier to peel them.
Once cool enough, peel of the skins and discard. Dice the peppers (large dice, about 1.5 cm or 1/2 inch).
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a wide thick-bottomed pan. When the butter foams, add the minced shallot. Stir over medium heat until the shallot is soft, about 5 minutes. Do not allow the shallot to brown.
Now add the rice and stir for a couple of minutes until the rice is nicely toasted.
Pour in 80 ml of white wine.
Stir until the wine has been absorbed.
Now take a ladle of the vegetable stock…
…and add it to the rice. Stir over medium heat until it has been absorbed, then add another ladle. Keep adding more stock and stirring until the rice is almost cooked, about 15 minutes.
Add the diced peppers.
Stir to incorporate the peppers and continue to stir and add stock until the rice is tender but firm to the bite (al dente). The rice should be somewhat liquid; so add more stock (or hot water) if needed.
Turn off the heat. Add a tablespoon of butter in small pieces to the rice as well as a handful of freshly grated parmigiano reggiano.
Stir to mix. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Then allow the risotto to rest for a couple of minutes.
Serve on preheated plates, garnished with parsley or mint if you like.
This is great with a dry Italian rosé like a Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo.
This berry tart can be made with frozen berries and you won’t notice the difference as the berries are cooked anyway.