Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Arrivederci Giada!

Farewell to our beautiful chef Giada. It’s been a fun 6 months, and it went by so fast. For the farewell dish I chose a risotto. It was one I had wanted to try for some time now and with one of my favorite splurges – pancetta and sausage – this was a good choice for us. A roast or decadent dessert may have fit in the celebratory category a bit better….but a risotto is a labor of love and patience.

The heady aroma of white wine as it hits the hot pan with browned pancetta is exhilarating to the senses…..pure raw hunger and want hits me as I stir, and add broth, and stir and breathe. Mmmmmmmmmmm

Pairing this up with Italian eggplant loaded with fresh mozzarella made for a very nice meal. Bring out the tablecloth, the wine and hallelujah ….we found a place that sells Chaumes again.

(yes, yes yes….a French cheese with Giada’s Italian theme…hey…… it’s been awhile since we’ve found a good Chaumes in this area……so we were going to have it.

The eggplant was actually made in honor of Garbrille Hamilton’s book Blood, Bones and Butter. A review of this book may be found at Novel Meals.

Giada's Dirty Risotto


5 cups homemade chicken broth
2 tablespoons butter
2 ounces pancetta, chopped
1 link (about 6 ounces) Italian sausage, casing removed
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
4 ounces button mushrooms, coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice or medium-grain white rice
3/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves

In a medium saucepan, bring the broth to a simmer. Cover the broth and keep warm over low heat.

In a large heavy saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the pancetta and sausage and sauté until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the onion, bell pepper, and mushrooms and sauté until tender, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the rice and stir to coat. Add the wine and simmer until the wine has almost completely evaporated, about 1 minute.

Add 1/2 cup of simmering broth and stir until almost completely absorbed, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking the rice, adding the broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and allowing each addition of broth to absorb before adding the next, until the rice is tender but still firm to the bite and the mixture is creamy, about 25 to 30 minutes total.

Remove from the heat. Stir in 3/4 of the Parmesan. Transfer the risotto to a serving bowl. Sprinkle with the parsley and remaining Parmesan and serve immediately.

Arrivederci !!!!! It's been a fun six months!

Surf over to IHCC to view all the farewell dishes.



  1. Oh my! What's not to love, indeed!? Even though we're done w/ Giada...I think I'll save this recipe for future reference...I hadn't run across this one in my searches and it does sound really good. =)

  2. Great minds!!
    I agree, we should all make this recipe for the finale.

  3. Girlichef - I think I will also be cooking from Giada's books....even though I am thrilled with Jamie for 6 months.

    MM - Yes! That would be so cool. Like the Daring Bakers organiztion.

  4. Okay, you and Michelle have me convinced to try this dirty risotto. I'm definitely going to make this one day. Looks delicious!

  5. You are right all the ingredients are superb! I am sure the outcome was as beautiful! Farewell then to Giada!

  6. Do it Kim, do it! You won't be sorry!!

    Katerina - I will miss her but...will still ake some of her recipes.

  7. What a perfect combination of ingredients; I love to cook with pancetta and risotto is my crazy about food. Thank you for sharing those photos; perfect.

  8. I love how you get into your dishes.... surely does makes a recipe sound so much more inviting to hear the sound of it being cooked and smell it as we read it... nice job

  9. Rita - We are on the same wave length here....risotto is time consuming but , mmm..mmmm so worth it.

    Drick, thank you so much. What a nice comment :-)

  10. Indeed what's not to love with those wonderful ingredients, My personal favorite garlic almost everything tastes better with it!

  11. Mmm, what a wonderful meal! I love the meatiness of the risotto. Perfect. ☺

  12. Oh yum - that pancetta looks quality and CHAUMES!!!! OMG!

  13. Between you and Michelle I am pretty convinced I need to try this dish.
    ;-) Your whole dinner from the cheese to the risotto and the eggplant sounds wonderful.

  14. Ciao ! It is so funny I'd never heard of dirty risotto and you all are making it ! I want too !

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