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Zucchini and Mushrooms with Parmesan Risotto

Okay, this is certainly NOT a dish for these too-hot-to-stand-in-front-of-the-stove days. Risotto needs tender loving care like a infant. It needs constant stirring and watching. For at least 20 minutes at the stove from start to stop. If not for my ridiculous craving, it would be crazy to sweat together with the onions.

Many years ago while working at an Italian restaurant, I had often seen risotto being served. Unfortunately, the feedback from the diners and kitchen was that this dish was unpopular because the Singaporean diners do no know what to make of it. Remember that was like fifteen years ago when most people were still not well travelled nor well informed. It was a pity that I didn't have the money to dine at the said Italian restaurant before it closed for good when Shangri-la did their major renovations.

In the years since, I didn't encounter risotto again until the other day we ate at Bonta, where we had Barolo Braised Milk Fed Veal Shank served with parmigiano risotto. The risotto was creamy and flavourful. To think of it as a thick version of our Cantonese rice porridge, does not justice to it because the rice grains will not yield when you push it up to the roof of your mouth with your tongue. The creaminess from the starch as well as the cheese makes the combination a heady one on the tongue. Maybe only the rice eaters can relate to this. To be more specific, maybe only rice eaters who eat cheese can relate to this.

Risotto requires minimal ingredients - olive oil, onions, rice, stock, parmesan cheese. So with such simple ingredients, to make a decent risotto, I reckon it has everything to do with the process. So I tried my darnest not to go off at a tangent with the recipe as I usually would. Following the recipe meant that I had to stir, stir and stir in front of the hot stove.

It was hellish!

It was terrible!

It was unthinkable in these hot days!

It made good risotto.

Risotto makes a satisfying meal. Good on its own, good as a side.

Here I made the same combo of zucchini and mushrooms which I made for the tagliatelle. I can think of so many other things I can do with this combo. Maybe I'll try it with omelette.

Why didn't I have cravings for it when the weather was cooler? Life's little mysteries.


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