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Risotto or salt cod? 

The anser for me is Salt cod Risotto! A few weeks ago I went to Vairano Scalo in the province of Caserta. Before the trip, I had imagined that I would taste wonderful buffalo mozzarella, fantastic artichokes, a long-awaited saffron, but never did I think I would eat salt cod in all its possible preparations!

Yet it is in this very village in Campania that you will find the Osteria del Baccalà where Antonio Ruggiero enchants everyone with the magic he can create with this extraordinary ingredient. And you know what? The experience with his salt cod is so good for the health and good mood that Antonio calls the dinner in his osteria a ‘therapeutic salt cod dinner‘! And I

Well, on those very same days, I read on the page of the Italian Food Bloggers Association that some colleagues from Veneto had organised a contest dedicated to Veneto and risotto entitled: “How do you cream it?” The connection was straight! The recent experience of salt cod and my beloved Veneto could only make me prepare a risotto that combines two of my favourite dishes: so here is my Salt cod risotto.

E-tu-come-lo-mantechi

Any other pleasant coincidences? The fact that I had gone to Vairano to prepare a risotto for the students of the ISISS Marconi hospitality school and that this is the season of asparagus, of which Veneto is a famous producer. I thought it was a bit daring, but since everyone at home liked this risotto, here is the recipe for you to try it too!

Salt cod risotto

23g carbohydrates per 100g

Ingredients for 4 servings

  • approx. 1.5 litres of previously prepared vegetable stock
  • 360g Carnaroli rice
  • 200g desalted cod
  • 200g milk
  • 16green asparagus
  • 60g Prosecco from a winery of your choice
  • 40g Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
  • 60g extra virgin olive oil
  • 30g spring onion
  • 30g fresh cream
  • 4 g parsley
  • 1 clove garlic
  • salt

Preparation

  1. Cook the cod covered in water and milk with the garlic clove for about 20 minutes.
  2. Remove the skin, garlic and any bones, then place the cod in a blender with the washed parsley leaves. Start blending by adding 50g of oil in a trickle, as if you were whipping mayonnaise. Also add the cream while continuing to whip and finally add salt to taste.
  3. Prepare the asparagus. Wash them, remove the woody ends, then separate the tips from the rest. Place the tips in a non-stick pan with a little oil and let them soften, then season with salt and set aside. In a saucepan, pour 10g of oil and the chopped spring onion, allow it to soften, then add the asparagus spears, allow them to take on flavour for a few minutes, then cover with water and cook. Once cooked, blend the asparagus to a perfectly smooth, stringless cream. Set it aside.
  4. Now let’s prepare the rice. Dry-toast the rice in a large pan (it took me 3 minutes to get the grains nice and transparent with a white kernel in the centre). Add Prosecco and allow to evaporate stirring until you can no longer smell the wine alcohol. Start adding the boiling stock. Continue stirring and only add stock when the rice has absorbed almost all the liquid. When the rice is still al dente, remove from the heat and start adding the creamed salt cod, continuing to stir the rice well so that the starch is released to form a nice creamy mixture, add the grated Parmesan cheese and continue stirring until it is completely incorporated. Taste and adjust salt if necessary.
  5. Plate the risotto: with the help of a piping bottle or pastry bag, place little tufts of asparagus cream on the surface and 4 asparagus tips on each plate.
  6. Serve the risotto and enjoy!

Risotto-al-baccala-uno-che-per-gaia

Version with gluten of Salt cod risotto

The recipe contains only naturally gluten-free ingredients, so no adaptation is necessary for its version with gluten.