We all make mistakes. And these mistakes, oftentimes, are what take laps through our thoughts while doing ruminative activities such as driving, stirring broth into Arborio rice or while kneading a loaf of German pumpkin bread. Food seems to have a way of receiving our emotions and transferring our aggression into useful substance that driving, for example, does not. I love this about food. For example, if you are crying while making a soup or while punching down a loaf of bread, the salt in your tears flavors the dish. If you are angry or full of rage, that aggression transfers into beaten, fluffy eggs or a well-kneaded rye. I love the forgiveness of food, and it reminds me, after all the beating and flavoring and smashing is done, as I am feeding myself something hot and savory and without trace of anger or envy or abuse, that I too can forgive and be forgiven.
Latest mistake: I forgot to take a picture of today’s dish, and KP took the rest of it to work today for lunch. So instead, here is a picture of Izzy, looking as I felt as I ate the cheesy rice last night. Her face rather indistinguishable from the blankets she lays beneath.
Arborio Rice and Parmegiano-Reggiano Cheese
Adapted from Epicurious.com
5 cups (about) canned low-salt chicken broth (I used dry white wine for a cup’s worth of this)
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1 cup grated Parmegiano-Reggiano cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
Shaved Parmesan cheese
Bring broth to boil in medium saucepan. Reduce heat to low; cover saucepan.
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion; sauté until very tender but not brown, about 15 minutes. Increase heat to medium. Add rice and stir 1 minute. Add 1 1/2 cups warm broth. Boil gently until broth is absorbed, stirring frequently. Add another 1 cup broth; stir until broth is absorbed. Add remaining 2 1/2 cups broth, 1/2 cup at a time, allowing broth to be absorbed before adding more and stirring frequently until rice is tender and mixture is creamy, about 25 minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons butter and 1 cup grated cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl. Sprinkle with parsley and shaved Parmesan.
Forgive and forget.