Alex Budman: Risotto with Francesca Garetti
Francesca Garetti, or ‘Fra’ as friends call her, never really cooked before coming to St Andrews. It was only once she came to the Bubble and hated the food options […]
Francesca Garetti, or ‘Fra’ as friends call her, never really cooked before coming to St Andrews. It was only once she came to the Bubble and hated the food options that she decided to start. Although she had little experience cooking, she is no stranger to fine dining. Francesca comes from a long lime of talented chefs (she’s Italian after all!). Though she grew up in New York City, much of her family resides in Milan. Her mother has a catering company named Acquolina Catering, based in NYC. Fra’s sister works for a catering company and her new brother-in-law has restaurants in New York called Felice. The Garretti’s are definitely foodies and all know how to throw down in the kitchen.
When Francesca wanted to learn how to cook for herself, her mother started by teaching her the basics. This recipe for mushroom risotto is a classic and family favourite. Risotto is one of the regional foods of Milan and a dish that Fra loves to make!
Francesca has become a wonderful cook who brings Italian basics and great technique to her cooking. She has impeccable confidence and poise in the kitchen and is adventurous. She eye balls proportions and is not afraid to make mistakes. (Though I doubt she ever makes them!)
If you try this dish, you and your friends will ‘ooooo’ and ‘ahhhh’ over how amazing it is. Risotto is one of the best forms of ‘comfort food’ and is the perfect remedy for these cold winter days/hurricanes. It warms you up from the inside out!
75 g of arborio risotto rice per person
Half a pack of butter
Two packs of mushrooms (best to get dried porcini if you can find them)
One chopped onion
Parmesean to taste (lots of it)
Extra virgin Olive oil
Chop and dice onions and fry them in olive oil until they become clear. Then add the chopped mushrooms and let them cook until they are pretty much ready to be eaten.
Add some butter and the uncooked rice and toast the rice with all the ingredients. This gives the rice more flavour in comparison to boiled normal rice.
Once the rice is a little toasted and darker, add chicken stock. It’s super important to not add too much at once, don’t submerge the rice. Add stock one ladle at the time. Stir the entire time.
Taste it to check it is ready (usually 30 mins). When it’s ready, all the chicken stock should be absorbed so make sure to coordinate that with cooking it. Once it’s done, turn off the flame and add a lotttt of butter and half a wedge of parmiggiano and stir. Enjoy!