This is the last episode of Eat Cheap, at least for this time. If you need to freshen up your memory or if you missed previous episodes and want to familiarize yourself with the Eat Cheap guidelines here come the simple rules:
- Plenty of food to feed 4-6 hungry people
- A maximum cost of 8 EUR (75 SEK or 9 USD)
Very straight forward, isn’t it? And if you want to take a look at what we made earlier you will find the past episodes here:
- Eat Cheap Episode 1 – Asian Style Carrot Soup
- Eat Cheap Episode 2 – Falafel Stuffed Pita with Veggies and Tahini Yoghurt Dip
- Eat Cheap Episode 3 – Eat Cheap Episode 3 – Tortellini, Spinach and Bacon Gratin
- Eat Cheap Episode 4 – BBQ Grilled Chicken, Sweet Potato Wedges and Roasted Garlic Aioli
Today we are making a fresh Italian inspired dish with lots of flavors. I love Italian food; it sort of makes the most out of every ingredient. And this dish is no exception. A few years ago we were on a traineeship at a family owed restaurant and hotel in the enchanting village Portico di Romagna. We learned how to cook pasta and all sorts of Italian foods. It was so much fun and the trip gave us lots of inspiration.
In this recipe we share a different kind of risotto made out of the rice-grained-shaped pasta “risoni” or “orzo”. Since the risotto is made out of pasta it takes less than half the time to cook compared to a regular risotto. The pasta version is not as dense as the traditional and you won’t feel as filled up. It’s however just as good, but in a slightly different way. We added fried mushrooms and used a homemade chicken stock to give our risoni risotto a nice body. The mushrooms also allowed us to cut down on the sausages which are the expensive part of this meal. We used 240 g Salsiccia and it was definitely enough when combined with the rest of the accessories.
The tomatoes take a while to make so I recommend you to throw them into the oven as soon as you get home from work. Or why not make a big batch of semi dried tomatoes and store them in the fridge. With their concentrated, fruity flavor and that perfect balance between sweet and savory they work perfectly both warm and cold in salads, on top of pizza and in pasta diches.
Pangrattato means grated bread and is originally flavored with red pepper flakes as well as garlic and lemon. I skipped the chili since the dish already is packed with other flavors. The zesty taste together with the crisp texture gives the dish a nice finish.
Risoni Risotto with Mushrooms, Tomatoes, Salciccia and Pangrattato
1 yellow onion
1 garlic clove
50 g white wine
300 g risoni or orzo
600-800 g chicken stock, diluted
400 g mushrooms
240 g salciccia
250 g baby tomatoes
100 g toast bread (2 slices) or breadcrumbs
1 garlic clove
1 lemon, zest
Oven: 125 °C
Tomatoes. Start with the tomatoes since those require the most amount of time. Halve the tomatoes and place them in an ovenproof dish. Sprinkle with raw sugar, olive oil, salt and black pepper and bake in the oven for 2-3 hours or until semidried. They should look like an elder with wrinkles, but you do not want to overcook them so make sure they’re not completely dried out.
Pangrattato. Tear the bread into small pieces, mix it in a food processor or use ready-made breadcrumbs. Fry the bread in a generous glug of olive oil on medium-high heat until golden. Add zest from one lemon and garlic when about 1 minute cooking time remains. Add salt to taste. Transfer the pangrattato onto some kitchen towel to suck up any excess oil.
Risotto. Heat up the stock in a pan. Peel and finely chop onion and garlic. In another pan; fry the onion and garlic on medium to low heat until soft and translucent. Slice the sausage on an angle and fry in a medium warm skillet with a small amount of oil. When browned transfer to a plate. Quarter the mushrooms and bring the frying pan up to very high heat. Place the mushrooms in the pan alongside a tiny glug of olive oil. It’s important not to overcrowd the pan since you want fried and not boiled mushrooms. This amount of mushrooms is perfect for a big skillet, but if you sometime happen to fry larger amounts remember to divide them into batches. Fry for a few minutes until the moisture has evaporated and the mushrooms start to turn golden. Lower the heat, add a knob of butter, some chopped parsley, salt and black pepper. Cook for another minute so the mushrooms get coated the butter. Back to the risotto; add the pasta and fry for another minute. Add the wine and let it reduce. Pour in the chicken stock in a few rounds, and stir every now and then just like when cooking a classic risotto. Let the pasta simmer for 10-15 minutes or until al dente. Have a taste every now and then to make sure it’s neither under- nor over cooked. Stir in the mushrooms, a knob of butter and some grated parmesan. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve the mushroom risotto with Salciccia, semidried tomatoes, pangrattato, some fresh parsley and grated Parmesan.