Tag Archives: Italian

Radicchio Risotto

How much respect do you give radicchio? Probably not much, but that ought to change.

I never thought much about it before last year. On our last big grocery run to Italy, it refused to be ignored. We were in the major radicchio production region at peak harvest, so it was everywhere. And with good reason! I’d always thought of it as that bitter, purple and white stuff you threw in a salad to brighten it up and nothing more. But it’s a not just any lettuce, it’s a chicory and can be cooked. It takes on a bit more sweetness as it wilts, while retaining some of the characteristic bitterness. And in this recipe from Serious Eats (with the requisite tweaks), it’s paired with pancetta. You could probably use regular bacon, but if you can get your hands on the pancetta, it’s worth it.

4 T olive oil
100 g (1/4 lb) pancetta, chopped into lardons
2 heads Chioggia radicchio, cored and chopped to bite-size
salt & pepper to taste
2 shallots, minced
3 cloves garlic, pressed
500 g (2 c) risotto rice
3/4 c white wine
5 c hot chicken broth
2 T butter
1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese

In a deep skillet, heat 2 T olive oil over medium-low heat. Add pancetta and fry until beginning to crisp, about 3-5 minutes. Next add radicchio by the handful, stirring each addition to coat with fat. When all radicchio is in, season lightly with salt and pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until wilted, about 7 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and set aside (or transfer radicchio mixture to a warm bowl and wipe out skillet if you want to use the same pan).

Heat the other 2 T olive oil to medium-low in a deep, wide skillet. Add shallots and garlic and cook until just translucent, then add rice and stir to coat with fat, cooking for about 2-3 minutes. Add wine and stir frequently until mostly absorbed, then start adding your chicken broth (it should be at a gentle simmer) by the ladleful. Stir after each broth addition and when almost completely absorbed, add the next. When you’ve added half the broth, stir the radicchio-pancetta mixture in the risotto.

Finish adding the broth by the ladleful. With the last addition, remove from heat, stir in butter and cheese and cover for 5 minutes. Serve with extra cheese or a drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar.

Lemon Risotto

We’d just returned from Italy with all kinds of ideas and experiences and raw materials for good food prepared at home — welcome, after being on-the-go for so much of September, October and November. We had a few lemons (from the Biomarkt) and shallots and garlic to use up, plus arborio rice and Pecorino Romano cheese from our grocery expeditions.

The original recipe came from our swell How to Cook Everything app (thank you Mark Bittman!), but the version below has our enhancements in it.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 large shallots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Large pinch saffron threads
1½ cups arborio rice
½ cup (120 ml) dry white wine
4 to 6 cups (950 ml to 1400 ml) chicken or vegetable stock
2 to 4 tablespoons softened butter
juice of one lemon
zest of one lemon
½ cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese

Heat the oil in a large, deep nonstick skillet to medium. Then add the shallots, garlic and saffron, and cook, stirring constantly, until they soften, 3 to 5 minutes.

Add the rice and cook, stirring constantly, until it is glossy and coated with the oil, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the white wine. Stir and let the liquid bubble away.

Use a ladle to begin adding the stock, a ladlefull or so at a time, stirring after each addition. When the stock is just about absorbed, add more. The mixture should be neither soupy nor dry. Keep the heat at medium to medium‐high and continue stirring.

Don’t plan on doing anything else while this risotto is going — you gotta keep stirring it. It’s going to take a while to get to that perfect texture. Plan on an a half-hour, but check it occasionally after 20 minutes. You want it to be tender but still with some resistance upon chewing; it could take as long as 30 minutes to reach this stage. When it does, stir in the butter and lemon zest and at least ½ cup of cheese. Taste, adjust the seasoning if necessary, and serve immediately. Throw some more grated cheese on it, if you like.

We used peppercorn Pecorino Romano, so we didn’t need any additional salt, pepper or other seasoning. You will need some of those flavor boosters if you choose a less burly cheese.

We found this recipe went exceedingly well with Roasted Brussels Sprouts.

Restaurant Colosseum


The Joint
Restaurant Colosseum
Inh. Teixeira Pinto
StadtamHof 5
93059 Regensburg
Tel. +49 941 28 00 74 65

Cliff

Restaurant Colosseum

Restaurant Colosseum

This seems like one of those locations that has a hard time staying in business. Maybe it’s cursed (not a big surprise, owing to its history), or just had a string of unlucky proprietors since we’ve been here in Regensburg observing it. But I really hope this iteration sticks around, despite the odds facing it. The location is ideal for us and food quality was, by our estimations, very high. I like that the owner comes around to check on his guests while they are eating. But I’m troubled by what seem big threats to his livelihood.

  • Trattoria Marina is just a few meters away and has a much flashier location, setup, and is well established as the Italian restaurant on this part of the island.
  • They seem to have much more capacity for seating than necessary. Of course, they just opened this spring.
  • It’s hard to know what the place is actually called . The building is labelled “Colosseum”. Is that the name of the restaurant? Cursory google searches about the restaurant yielded nothing useful. What about carry-out business? Phone number on the door? All of that was missing or not obvious. Seems like the owner is relying on walk-in/by business. Hope that’s enough.

Here’s what it does have going for it: homemade pastas (excellent!), decent pizzas, a great bruschetta, and a Buy 10 Get 2 Free deal on carry-out pizza. I just hope they can stick it out against the odds.

Sarah

Locals already know this, but for those just visiting, Regensburg suffers from a glut of Italian restaurants. Most of them are fair-to-middling with a few standouts. Colosseum is on track to be counted among the standouts. Service is friendly and attentive. The food is fresh and well-priced. They don’t seem to have the flair that Marina has, but they’re far more pleasant to deal with – just try ordering a pizza from both places and see which experience is better.

Osteria Siciliana

The Joint

Osteria Siciliana
Schopperplatz 3
93059 Regensburg
Telefon: +49 (0) 941 8500 2990
Telefax: +49 (0) 941 8309 151
E-Mail: info@osteriasiciliana.de

http://www.osteriasiciliana.de

Cliff

Nice place, from the looks of it. The presentation of the daily specials by our waiter to our large group of mostly Americans made for great expectations. And the service was quite charming and attentive. But the food — the most important part of the experience! — just didn’t hold up as well as we’d hoped after all that buildup. I had a ham, parmesan cheese, and arugula pizza which would have been great if not for the lackluster sauce (did someone forget to add basil or oregano or something to the pureed tomatoes?). In the end, it was fine. Maybe even quite good as compared to other regions. But we’ve got a ton of Italian restaurants around here and it’ll take more than that to stand out.

Sarah

I concur with Cliff, to the letter. The location is great and they have a nice, large outdoor dining area. The prices looked pretty mid-range for such a diverse menu. The service was really great, especially considering our large party. But the food itself was a little meh. And in a place with so many good Italian restaurants, it just has to be better than that to compete.

But we might go back, if only for a beer in the gazebo.

Malgerian Puttanesca

Secret family recipe from the Malge, but maybe not so secret since they got it out of a book and his mom hooked us up with her hand-written notes on it. The flexibility with regard to ingredients and flavors is nice; you can make with meat or without or to varying degrees of spiciness by playing with the chilies.

Serves 4-6, but we’ve seen it done at factor 500%, which generates a large batch suitable for deep-freezing and thawing when you need it.

1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 pound sliced bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide strips
6 medium garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
4 medium onions, coarsely chopped
3 small hot green chilies, coarsely chopped
1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper


and these are the hand-written ingredients:
artichoke hearts
black olives
green olives

our_first_sauce.jpgIn a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the bacon, garlic, onions, and chilies; sauté only until the bacon begins to brown, 5 to 7 minutes [note: if you overdo the bacon, you'll have to add extra sugar later to compensate for the bitterness of burnt bacon]. Add the tomatoes, breaking them up with your hands, then stir in tomato paste. Stir in remaining ingredients. Gently boil until thick, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve over cooked pasta.

Jentry Sauce

Our friend Jentry gave us this recipe. I have (of course) lost the original and pieced together what I remember into this patchwork version. It’s a really quick bare-bones marinara sauce. It’s very light-textured and goes well with chicken Parmesan. We also use canned diced tomatoes, but I plan on trying it with fresh tomatoes when they’re in season.

1 T. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped (we use 5 or 6)
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 T. basil
1 T. oregano
1 T. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 T. tomato paste

1. Heat olive oil in a deep skillet over medium heat. Sauté garlic until just tender, stirring constantly.

2. Add tomatoes, basil, oregano, sugar, salt, black pepper and tomato paste. Stir until tomato paste is integrated, then stir occasionally until sauce boils.

3. Turn down heat and simmer gently, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.

Azzuro

The Joint

145-146 Sutton Walk, Waterloo,
London, SE1 7ND
phone: +44 08713325332

Cliff

After walking around all day on our last full day in London and checking out the Salvador Dalí museum, Sarah wanted to find yet another Indian restaurant, but I just wanted to eat and we happened upon Azzuro. I was pleased with the carbonara pasta I had. It was a nice way to round out our trip to London.

Sarah

Nice little place. Right in the middle of a museum/business district, so I bet they do huge lunch business. Good pasta, good price. I was most excited to sit down and drink something!