Sundried Tomato Risotto ~ Easy Elegant Entertaining

What I love about entertaining at home, is spending time with my friends and family, so that means, not being in the kitchen all day, while everyone is having a good time in the other room. Who doesn’t want to be a part of the party?  I even bought our new house with that purpose in mind, to be with my guest, while I am preparing food for them. We all sit around our 8 foot island and just connect with one another over an excellent bottle of wine and eat as each course comes out.

Creating recipes that are loaded with flavor and doesn’t take a lot of time, but will make your guest feel like it did, is the key. My to go to recipe, my Sundried Tomato Risotto, because it seems, difficult, it looks fancy, but psst… IT’S NOT and it’s pretty darn delicious.

Risotto is one of those dishes you can truly make it your own, you can flavor it with all kinds of mouthwatering possibilities, with spinach, sweet peas and mint or you could do butternut squash and fried sage with just a pinch of nutmeg. Just allow your imagination to run wild, serve it with steamed veggies or a nice salad, some crusty bread, excellent wine, and you will be the hostess of the year, will maybe of the month, it is risotto and not coq au vin, LOL, 🙂

So here’s the recipe I hope you will enjoy it with your friends and family as you Set the Table with Love.

Sun dried Tomato Risotto

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Sundried Tomato Risotto photo by: Noi Tran Photography

Ingredients:

1 cup of water

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup finely chopped onion

1 garlic clove, minced

1 cup Arborio rice

1 ounce sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil, I used pre sliced ones)

2 cups chicken broth

1/2 cup of white wine

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan

finely chopped fresh basil leaves for sprinkling the risotto after cooking

Directions:

1. In a saucepan add the water and the bring the liquid to a simmer, and keep it at a bare simmer. In a large saucepan cook the onion and the garlic in the oil over moderately low heat, stirring, until they are softened, add the rice, stirring until each grain is coated with oil, and stir in the tomatoes.

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Sundried Tomato Risotto Photo by: Noi Tran Photography

2. Add 1/2 cup of the simmering liquid and cook the mixture over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until the liquid is absorbed. Continue adding the liquid, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly. Once you have added all the water and broth liquid add the 1/2 cup of white wine remember to allow each portion to be absorbed before adding the next, until the rice is tender but still al dente)

3. Stir in the Parmesan and salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle the risotto with the fresh basil. I like to drizzle a little olive oil over it all at the end. Makes 4-6 servings

Polenta with butternut squash veggie ragout

All day my son and I have been spending time cooking some creative dishes. He is out of school for Spring break so we get to have some fun in the kitchen. I love trying new things, so today I mixed butternut squash into my polenta recipe. It tasted delicious!  I also made an organic ragout. I hope you enjoy this recipe.

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Polenta with butternut squash with a veggie ragout

You will need:

Polenta:

1 1/2 cups of yellow corn grits

4 cups of water

1/2 cup of organic butternut squash ( frozen)

1/2  cup of 5 Italian Blend shredded cheese

Dash of black pepper, salt and garlic powder

Ragout

1 tbs of  olive oil

2 small zucchinis ( diced)

1 half of a med onion( chopped roughly)

1 med tomato (  deseeded and chopped size of the onions)

1/2 cup of smoked sundried tomatoes ( have that bacon taste)

2 garlic cloves ( chopped finely)

1/2 cup of dried porcini mushrooms

1/2  tsp of dried fennel seed

1/2 tsp of italian seasonings

1/2 tsp of sea salt

1/2 tsp of garlic powder

Dash of black pepper to taste. I like it a little spicy. 🙂

1/2 cup of water to keep ragout wet until veggies are tender ( I add water as needed, this is optional the tomatoes should give you enough water)

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Ragout

Sauté  onions and zucchini until transparent.

Add the the raw tomatoes and the garlic and sauté for 5 minutes.

Add all  your spices and stir all the veggies.

Bring everything to a boil. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

About 5 minutes before the dish is done add the mushrooms and sundried tomatoes to rehydrate. Continue to cook.

Serve on top of the Polenta

Polenta

Bring water to a boil. Add Butternut Squash. Allow to cook for 10 minutes remove the squash and mash most of it up in a bowl. Leave some pieces whole it makes the polenta look pretty. Add squash back to water. Bring the water back to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Pour in polenta steadily, stirring constantly. Continue to stir until polenta is thickened.  Add the cheese, black pepper, garlic and sea salt.  Stir throughly. It should come away from sides of the pan, and be able to support a spoon. Cooking time 20 to 30 minutes.

To plate with LOVE:

Put polenta in a nice plate or bowl.
Add the Ragout and top with some of the 5 italian cheese blend or some parmesan. Sprinkle some parsley flakes for garnish and drizzle with a little olive oil.

Oh yes one last thing. Set the table with LOVE.

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