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Yesterday I took a trip to a village at the foot of the wonderful Sibillini Mountain national park to meet a delightful Dutch family that for a few years now has produced that most delicate, and expensive of spices, saffron. They produce a fine completely natural product of great quality and value. Their website is under construction but you can check their progress at http://deliciousnature.com
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- saffron 2 pistils per person
- stick of celery
- 2 onions
- 1 carrot
- bunch of parsley
- 1 medium potato
- risotto rice handful per person
- olive oil
- glass white wine
- knob of butter
- mild cheese - mild pecorino - to taste
- Allow the saffron to infuse for 24 hours in a cup of warm water, about two pistils per person is sufficient. Prepare a good vegetable broth by boiling the chopped celery, one of the onions coarsly chopped, the chopped carrot, half the parsley and the chopped potato. Boil for about an hour in a good sized pan with 2 ls of water, salt to taste. stir often.
- Once you have prepared the broth begin the preparation of the risotto.
- Fry the other finely chopped onion in olive oil and when it become translucent add a handful of rice for each person. mix with the onion until well glazed with the oil, about 2 to 3 minutes, then deglaze with the white wine, now begin to add the broth a ladleful at a time, wait until the broth has been absorbed by the rice before adding the next, don't leave the pan! you have to stir constantly. At the end of cooking, when the rice is cooked but still slightly al dente - with a little bite - pour in the saffron water turn up the heat to evaporate the excess water add a piece of butter, the rest of the parsley, finely chopped and grated mild cheese to taste. Take off the heat and leave to rest and absorb the flavour of the saffron for five minutes, give a final stir and serve.
Cooking Holidays Italy http://www.italianfoodandflavours.com/