Day 12 and it was the turn of Tomato and rosemary risotto with meatballs and I looked forward to making this one simply because I’d never made risotto before. I had seen Jamie Oliver on the TV one night making risotto as he ladled chicken stock into the risotto and then he let it evaporate, then another ladle until it evaporated and so on and so on. Thankfully, Rachel’s recipe was not as labour intensive as that.
I made the meatballs first as per the recipe on page 40 which involved minced beef, garlic, salt, pepper, a beaten egg and freshly chopped thyme. Then I rolled them into tiny bite-sized balls. All very simple but a bit tedious which isn’t good for someone with little patience. Being vegetarian and one who doesn’t actually like handling meat too much, I had the disposable Latex gloves out. Something you wouldn’t exactly see on Masterchef but that’s the way I operate!
I then made the risotto which involved sautéing an onion with salt, pepper and garlic before adding the risotto rice, two tins of chopped tomatoes, more salt and pepper, some caster sugar and then vegetable stock and half of the freshly chopped rosemary. The weird thing was that the recipe didn’t say what to do with the other half of the rosemary so I guessed that it had to be thrown in once it finished cooking and some used for decoration. I actually had to transfer the ingredients into a bigger oven-proof dish once it came to the boil on the cooker as I underestimated the total volume of the recipe. Oh, and I didn’t use the 150ml of white wine which was in the recipe because you’d be hard pushed to find alcohol in our house as neither me or Dear Husband drink and I’ve always been a health freak so I wouldn’t even dream of putting it in my cooking even though all you food purists will tell me the alcohol burns off anyway but still, as my Donegal Mammy would say about me at times “You might as well talk to the wall if she gets a notion in her head!”. Ah sure, there’s a bit of oddness in all of us!
The last part of the recipe required the risotto to be baked in the oven for 10-12 minutes which gave me the exact amount of time to fry the meatballs. After that, I simply had to stir in butter and the grated parmesan cheese (yum!) into the risotto and hey presto…or should that be 'hey pesto'?!
Dear Husband gave the meal 7.5 out of 10 and was really pleasantly surprised with it. It was his first time having risotto and, of course, the meatballs really helped. Dear Son ate it too even though he thought he didn’t like it at first. I had the risotto on its own and thought it was really nice. However, as you will see from the photo above, it was a bit on the watery side so I probably should’ve cooked it a wee bit longer. However, I had plenty left over and had a peek at it in the fridge a while ago and the liquid is now well absorbed into the rice so thankfully that’s a nice lunch to take with me to work tomorrow in my food flask. I got a Thermos food flask a few months ago in Argos and it was such a good buy as it’s designed for soups and curries etc. with a wide neck and built in spoon so it’s way better than an ordinary flask. It keeps the food hot-hot too which is the main thing.
In conclusion, Dear Husband really liked it but would prefer it as a lunch (!). Dear Son just liked it. End of. I thought it was really yum and I am looking forward to having it for lunch tomorrow! However, it’s a recipe that I could improve upon the next time I make it though…