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Burgess Hill, West Sussex, United Kingdom
I love patchwork and quilting; I love learning new techniques and perfecting the old ones, but most of all I enjoy passing on what I have learnt to others. The most important thing is that we all have loads of fun!

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Monday, 18 June 2012

A cooking lesson and a dip in the pool

Saturday - Sewing again in the morning.
The ladies are choosing to keep the pace slow, in keeping with the general atmosphere around here; no need to rush anything!
I had planned to cook my trademark risotto for lunch; Gill asked if I would show her how to do it, so she came in to help.

Risotto with pancetta, zucchini and mushrooms
Serves 2

olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
200g risotto rice (arborio or carnaroli)
100ml white wine
500ml chicken or vegetable stock
70g-100g diced pancetta or bacon lardons
150g zucchini/courgettes, diced into 1cm pieces
200g button mushrooms, quartered
knob of butter
freshly ground black pepper
freshly grated parmesan

Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a medium saucepan.
Fry the chopped onion until softened and then add the crushed garlic and fry for a further minute.
Add the rice and stir until coated with oil and slightly translucent.
Add the wine (it should make a nice ssssshhhhhhzzzzz noise) and stir until absorbed. Reduce the heat and add 100ml of stock.
Cook gently, stirring occasionally until the stock is absorbed.
Continue adding the stock, 100ml at a time, stirring from time to time to make sure the rice does not stick.

Meanwhile, in a frying pan, fry the pancetta without any oil, until it releases its fat and starts to brown. Add 1 tbsp oil and then the mushrooms.
Cook until the mushrooms are browned, then add the zucchini and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Season with plenty of freshly ground black pepper and set aside until the rice is ready.

Check whether the rice is at the al dente stage. You may not need to add all the stock, or you may need to add a bit extra. The rice should be cooked but still very moist.

Stir a knob of butter and some freshly grated parmesan into the rice and then mix in the bacon, mushroom and zucchini mixture.

Serve with extra grated parmesan on top.

More sewing while they let their lunch go down and then down to the pool for a swim.
We had originally planned to go into Spoleto in the late afternoon for a walk round before going out of town to a restaurant for dinner, but they were enjoying their pool time so much they voted to postpone that trip until another day.
So they stayed by the pool until it was time to get ready to go out to dinner - Locanda Rovicciana.
We had a wonderful meal (I don’t think it’s possible to NOT have a wonderful meal out here!)
We ate a la carte, so I won’t go through what everyone had, but it was a great location again as you can see on this video.

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