Easy Homemade Tomato Sauce


© 2016 Food Cookture – Easy Homemade Tomato Sauce

Everyone needs an easy and basic tomato sauce recipe that can be tasty enough to be used alone over pasta yet simple enough that it can be incorporated with other ingredients in a more complex dish. This is an easy recipe that can be done in 30 minutes if you are rushed, but best if cooked for a longer time – 45 minutes to 1 hour.

This sauce can also be used as a base for tomato soup – just add more basil and a little more water (and omit the butter at the end). This recipe also freezes well.  I usually make a larger batch and freeze several containers so I always have homemade tomato sauce.

A note about the tomato base
Using fresh tomatoes of course is the ideal base for a homemade tomato sauce, but since the best tomatoes are seasonal, I usually use tomato passata (which is Italian tomato purée) for my sauce. Passata is uncooked, crushed and sieved tomatoes with no seasonings as you may find in store-bought tomato sauce. You can use canned tomatoes as long as you buy from a brand that is organic and free of the chemical BPA (bisphenol-A).


© 2016 Food Cookture – Easy Homemade Tomato Sauce

Easy Homemade Tomato Sauce
Prep time: 5-10 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes – 1 hour (can be done in 30 minutes)


  • 2 jars of organic tomato passata/purée (approximately 24-oz/680g each jar)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2-3 large carrots, chopped (sweetens the sauce and turns it orange)
  • 1-2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves (more if you prefer)
  • Bunch of fresh basil
  • Pinch of dried oregano
  • Pinch of dried rosemary, optional
  • Bay leaf, optional (not to be blended)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil
  • 1-2 TBL (14-28g) Butter, optional


  1. Chop onion, carrots, celery and garlic, reserve. Note: if you want to spend less time cooking the sauce, be sure to chop the carrots and celery into smaller pieces.
  2. Using a tall pot, sauté onions, carrots and celery in a few tablespoons of olive oil in low to medium heat until onions are translucent, but not burned. Add garlic and continue stirring until garlic is light golden in color (be careful not to overcook garlic or it will make the sauce bitter).
  3. Add the tomato passata and measure 1 of the jars with filtered or spring water.
  4. Add salt and pepper, and dried seasonings if desired (oregano, rosemary and bay leaf). Bring the sauce to a boil then simmer (covered but not completely) for at least 45 minutes, best for 1 hour (the longer it is cooked, the better it will taste). Stir frequently.  If you want to make the sauce in 30 minutes, you will need to let the sauce cook in medium to medium-high heat, but will need to stir more frequently.  Cook until carrots and celery are soft enough to be blended. You can also leave the pan uncovered to cook down the water faster, but will need to stir frequently and keep an eye on the sauce not to splatter all over your stove.
  5. Remove the bay leaf if using, and add fresh basil leaves. Using an immersion blender, blend all ingredients (do not blend bay leaf). If you don’t have an immersion blender, transfer all the ingredients in batches to a kitchen blender (leave the small top off the cover to let out the hot steam while blending). Transfer back to the pan.
  6. Season with more salt and pepper, if needed, and add butter. At this point you may cook the sauce for a longer period of time if desired. The butter adds richness to the sauce and helps balance out the acidity (taste-wise) of the tomato, another little trick is also to add a teaspoon of sugar – but cooking it for a long time also helps.
  7. It is now ready to be served. Wait until sauce is completely cooled before storing in the refrigerator or freezer.

I hope you enjoy making this easy tomato sauce and use it in many of your favorite recipes!

Posted in Entree (lunch/dinner), First Course, Gluten-Free, Healthy Cookture, Light Dishes, Pasta, Sauce, Soups, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Make a Nutritious Smoothie (3 Recipes) – Como Fazer uma Vitamina Nutritiva (3 Receitas)

(Receita em português abaixo)


© 2016 Food Cookture -Various smoothie recipes (strawberry, chocolate, green, blueberry) / Várias receitas de vitamina (morango, chocolate, verde, e blueberry)

A great healthy smoothie can be made up of foods you enjoy to eat. A “super healthy” smoothie doesn’t necessarily have to be “super foods” you can’t pronounce or things you don’t enjoy.  Nor does it have to taste unpleasant.  I prefer to use as many healthy foods as possible in my smoothie, but I will admit my favorite recipe is somewhat of an acquired taste.  I will show you how you can start with a basic recipe and build up to some more “potent” recipes for when and if you feel ready to increase the nutritional value of your smoothie.

When I have a green smoothie first thing in the morning, I tend to crave less sugar and eat healthier for the rest of the day. I’ve also noticed I sleep better and my skin is more radiant.  If I don’t drink it in the morning before breakfast then I’ll have it as an afternoon snack.  I would not replace any of the recipes below for a meal as they are not substantial enough on their own to be considered a complete nutritious meal (unless you make sure to add enough protein to your smoothie).  Drinking a smoothie is also a great way to get a nutritious boost if you usually skip breakfast or don’t wake up hungry.  It’s fast and simple to make, and much easier to drink than to individually eat the same amount of ingredients.

The General Rule for a Smoothie Recipe
There’s no need for precise measurements, you can add as much or as little as you like of a particular ingredient or be as creative as you please. Just be mindful that the color (and taste) of certain foods may dominate the final result – if the color is important to you, start with smaller portions of certain foods until you see what they look like blended (I once made a gray smoothie but it tasted great); my husband doesn’t like to drink a green smoothie so I go heavier on the strawberries or the bananas.


© 2016 Food Cookture – Green smoothie ingredients / Ingredientes para a vitamina verde

1. The Basic Fruit Smoothie
The basic fruit smoothie typically has bananas as a base which is great for making the smoothie creamy and sweet. You can add any other fruits and liquids (milk, water, almond or soy milk, coconut water, etc). You can also add some oats to make it heartier and thicker and some protein powder for additional nutrition.  For a nice starter recipe try the following (and add other ingredients as you please):

Banana Berry Smoothie (Serves 2):

  • 1 banana
  • 2-3 strawberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 TBL blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • ½ TBL honey (optional if you want it sweet)
  • Milk or almond milk (enough to cover the fruits)
  • Other optional ingredients:
    • 1 TBL oatmeal
    • 1 TBL hemp seeds
    • Dash of cinnamon
    • Protein powder (chocolate or vanilla)

2. The Basic Green Smoothie
The basic green smoothie has any green fruit and/or vegetable in it. It is best to start with fruits and vegetables that are mild in flavor so that they blend well together.  I usually add water or coconut water as I don’t like to mix vegetables with any type of milk.

Basic Green Smoothie (Serves 2):

  • 1 banana
  • Bunch of spinach
  • A few slices of cucumber
  • Juice of ½ or 1 lemon or lime
  • ½ TBL honey (optional if you want it sweet)
  • Water or coconut water (enough to cover the ingredients)

3. The Super Nutritious Green Smoothie
For a more nutritious green smoothie, you can add the following ingredients as super foods to the basic recipe listed above: spirulina, chia seeds, hemp seeds, turmeric powder, maca powder, goji berries, and protein powder. I highly encourage adding the following ingredients for extra nutritious benefits, natural sweetening, and flavor enhancing: more fruit, fresh ginger, fresh mint leaves, basil, dates, and/or honey. These can be helpful to disguise the taste of strong flavored ingredients like spirulina.

Super Nutritious Green Smoothie (Serves 2):

  • 1 banana
  • Bunch of spinach
  • Bunch of kale
  • Small piece of fresh ginger
  • Fresh mint leaves
  • Juice of ½ or 1 lemon or lime
  • ½ tsp spirulina
  • 1 TBL hemp seeds
  • 1-2 tsp chia seeds
  • dash of turmeric powder
  • ½ TBL honey (optional if you want it sweet)
  • Water or coconut water (enough to cover the ingredients)
  • Other optional ingredients:
    • Protein powder
    • Cucumber slices
    • Apple
    • Pear
    • Beet (fresh)
    • Celery
    • Parsley
    • Carrot

Have fun experimenting and discovering your favorite recipe. Make small portions at first and don’t add too many ingredients until you know you like certain combinations!  Enjoy!

Receita em português:

Como Fazer uma Vitamina Nutritiva
Uma vitamina saudável pode ser feita de alimentos que você gosta de comer. Uma vitamina “super saudável” não tem que ser necessariamente feita de “super alimentos” que não você não gosta. Nem tem que ser de sabor desagradável. Eu prefiro usar o máximo de alimentos saudáveis na minha vitamina, mas confesso que minha receita favorita leva um tempo para adquiri gosto. Mostrarei como você pode começar com uma receita básica e montar algumas receitas mais “potentes” para quando estiver pronto para aumentar o valor nutricional de sua vitamina.

Quando bebo uma vitamina pela manhã, eu sinto vontade de comer comidas mais saudáveis e com menos açúcar o resto do dia. Eu também notei que durmo melhor e minha pele está mais radiante. Se eu não tomo antes do café da manhã, então eu geralmente tomo durante o lanche da tarde. Não substitua qualquer das receitas de vitamina abaixo por uma refeição, pois elas não são nutritivas o suficiente para valer por uma refeição nutritiva e completa (a menos que você adicione mais proteína na sua vitamina). Tomar vitamina também é uma ótima maneira de garantir uma boa dose de nutrição logo de manhã, especialmente se você costuma pular o café da manhã ou não acorda com fome. É rápido e simples de fazer e muito mais fácil beber do que comer individualmente a mesma quantidade de alimentos.

A regra geral para uma receita de vitamina
Não há nenhuma necessidade medir os ingredientes e você pode adicionar ou eliminar qualquer ingrediente, ou ser tão criativo como quiser. Apenas lembre-se que a cor (e gosto) de certos alimentos pode dominar o resultado final – se a cor for importante para você, comece com pequenas porções de certos alimentos até você ver o que eles parecem batidos juntos (uma vez fiz uma vitamina cinza mas estava deliciosa); meu marido não gosta de beber vitamina verde então que coloco mais morangos ou bananas.

1. Receita básica de vitamina de fruta

A vitamina básica de fruta geralmente tem banana como base pois torna a vitamina doce e cremosa. Você pode adicionar qualquer outra fruta e líquido (leite, água, leite de amêndoa ou de soja, água de coco, etc.). Você também pode adicionar aveia para torná-la mais substanciosa e um liquidio mais grosso, ou proteína em pó para aumentar o valor nutricional. Para uma receita básica, experimente o seguinte (adicione outros ingredientes se quiser):

Vitamina de Banana e Frutas Silvestres (2 porções):

  • 1 banana
  • 2-3 morangos (frescos ou congelados)
  • 1 colher de sopa de mirtilos/blueberry (frescos ou congelados)
  • ½ colher de sopa de mel (se quiser a vitamina mais doce)
  • Leite ou leite de amêndoa (o suficiente para cobrir as frutas)
  • Outros ingredientes opcionais:
  • 1 colher de sopa de aveia
  • 1 colher de sopa de sementes de cânhamo
  • pitada de canela
  • proteina em pó (chocolate ou baunilha)

2. Receita básica de vitamina verde (green smoothie)

Uma vitamina verde básica tem qualquer fruta ou verdura verde. É melhor começar com frutas e verduras que são leves de sabor, para que se misturam bem. Eu geralmente adiciono água ou água de coco porque não gosto de misturar verduras com qualquer tipo de leite.

Vitamina verde básica (2 porções):

  • 1 banana
  • Folhas de espinafre
  • Fatias de pepino
  • Suco de ½ ou 1 limão ou lima
  • ½ colher de sopa de mel (se quiser a vitamina mais doce)
  • Água ou água de coco (o suficiente para cobrir os ingredientes)

3. Receita de vitamina verde super nutritiva

Para uma vitamina mais nutritiva, você pode adicionar os seguintes ingredientes como “super alimentos”: spirulina, sementes de chia, sementes de cânhamo, cúrcuma em pó, pó de maca, frutinhas de goji, e proteína em pó. Também recomendo adicionar os seguintes ingredientes que tem benefícios nutritivos e são adoçantes naturais ou ajudam a realçar o sabor: mais frutas, gengibre fresco, folhas de hortelã fresca, manjericão, tâmaras e/ou mel. Estes ingredientes também podem disfarçar o sabor forte de certos alimentos como a spirulina.

Vitamina Verde Super Nutritiva (2 porções):

  • 1 banana
  • Folhas de espinafre
  • Folhas de couve
  • Pedaço pequeno de gengibre fresco
  • Folhas de hortelã fresca
  • Suco de ½ ou 1 limão ou lima
  • ½ colher de chá de spirulina
  • 1 colher de sopa de sementes de cânhamo
  • 1-2 colher de chá de sementes de chia
  • Pitada de cúrcuma em pó
  • ½ colher de sopa de mel TBL (se quiser a vitamina mais doce)
  • Água ou água de coco (o suficiente para cobrir os ingredientes)
  • Outros ingredientes opcionais:
    • proteina em pó
    • fatias de pepino
    • maçã
    • pera
    • betteraba fresca
    • salsão
    • salsinha
    • cenoura

Divirta-se experimentando e descobrindo sua receita favorita. Faça pequenas porções para começar e não adicione muitos ingredientes até que você saiba como certas combinações ficam! Enjoy!

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Healthy and Natural Pecan Pie (Raw, Vegan, No Bake)

food-cookture_healthy pecan pie_main-pic

Food Cookture – Healthy and Natural Pecan Pie

For the past two years I’ve been on a health(ier) kick researching and experimenting with natural recipes, raw foods, and vegan cooking. I’ve been drinking green smoothies almost every morning and have been trying to eat more plant-based foods whenever possible. I have not become a vegetarian or a vegan; nor have I adopted the macrobiotic, raw, or plant based diets. I have simply been more open to experimenting with recipes I would never have looked twice before. We have always eaten healthy foods at home, but ever since watching the documentary Forks Over Knives, my husband and I have been trying to eat more vegetables and plant-based foods. I have incorporated ingredients I had never tasted or heard of before, and I love this new discovery.


Food Cookture – Healthy and Natural Pecan Pie

Taste should never be compromised.
To me, how food tastes is just as important as how nutritious it is, because if something is super healthy but tastes bad, you won’t eat it anyway. So might as well make nutritious food taste good for you to continue eating it. However, keep in mind that your taste buds will eventually adapt to certain flavors, so don’t be quick to discard certain healthy ingredients or “power foods” based on taste alone.

About this recipe
Last Thanksgiving, I wanted to make a traditional pecan pie; one of the highlights of Thanksgiving for me. But when I read the many recipes and saw the list of ingredients, and saw how much sugar, corn syrup, and butter they require, suddenly I didn’t want to make the pie anymore, or ever eat it again. Fortunately, I found this recipe on Food52 that is a raw, vegan and no bake pecan pie that will make you smile. All the ingredients listed are healthy and naturally sweet. If you follow a raw or vegan diet, I guarantee you already have these ingredients in your pantry. If you don’t, I highly recommend having them for healthy snacking. The natural sweetener in this recipe is the Medjool date, which is considered the best and tastiest dates from the Middle East and North Africa. They are typically larger, fleshier, and sweeter than other dates. I substituted a mix of almonds and cashews instead of walnuts for the crust, but any combination of nuts works well. There’s no need to bake the crust or the pie itself, and it can be made ahead of time. I served it last year for Thanksgiving dessert and it was a success, so I’m repeating it this year. The best part is that the filling tastes just like the traditional pie (without the butter, sugar and corn syrup) and the crust is sweetly addictive on its own. You can leave this pie in your fridge for days… but I’m sure it won’t last that long. Likewise, you can make this recipe into pecan bars, or substitute the pecans for other nuts such as walnut.


Food Cookture – Healthy and Natural Pecan Pie


Healthy and Natural Pecan Pie
Recipe adapted from Food 52: Raw Vegan Pecan Pie
Serves 10-12
Prep time: 1 hour to soak dates, 10-15 min to prepare crust and filling, 2 hours to chill pie
Cook time: None

Ingredients – Crust

  • 3/4 cup (90g) raw pecans*
  • 1/3 cup (60g) raw almonds* and 1/2 cup (60g) raw cashews*
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup (20g) shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1 cup (200g) pitted Medjool dates, packed

Ingredients – Pie Filling

  • 1 ¼ cups (250g) Medjool dates, pitted, tightly packed and soaked in warm water for at least an hour
  • 1/2 cup (60g) raw pecans* for the filling (plus 3/4 cup (90g) raw pecans* to decorate)
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) melted coconut oil (organic, virgin, cold-pressed and unrefined)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Pinch sea salt

* Note: pecans, almonds, and cashews need to be raw which means they are not roasted or salted


For the crust:

  1. Put the pecans and any combination of nuts you choose (walnuts, almonds, cashews), shredded coconut, and salt in a food processor and grind (until coarsely ground, consistency of wet sand) Note: Careful not to over grind or the mixture may turn to nut butter! Use the pulse button of your food processor.
  2. Add the pitted dates and continue processing until the mixture begins to stick together.
  3. Press the mixture evenly onto the bottom of a pie plate or springform pan.

For the pie filling:

  1. Drain the soaked dates (reserve the water). Transfer to a high speed blender or food processor. Add the 1/2 cup (60g) of pecans, coconut oil, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and approximately 1/4 cup (60ml) of the water from soaking the dates. Blend until mixture is smooth.
  2. Pour the filling over the crust. Smooth the top and place in the fridge for at least 2-4 hours to set.
  3. Decorate with 3/4 cup (90g) of pecans and continue to chill until ready to serve.

I hope you enjoy this recipe and I already know you won’t miss the traditional pecan pie anymore, I know I don’t! :-)  Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Posted in Brunch/Breakfast, Cakes, Desserts, Gluten-Free, Healthy Cookture, Raw, Snacks, Vegan, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chocolate Cake (Low Fat)

Food Cookture_Chocolate Cake_main pic

Food Cookture just celebrated its 1st birthday!!!!

I’m so happy to share my passion for cooking with you through this blog and thank you all for your appreciation and support! For this occasion, I chose to bake a cake I always turn to when I crave chocolate (but don’t want to feel guilty for eating more than one piece): my low-fat chocolate cake. It’s a much lighter version of my good old chocolate cake that was accidently created when forgetting to add butter while I was multi-tasking in the kitchen.

Food Cookture_Chocolate Cake_pic2

About this recipe
I have been making a lighter version of my chocolate cake for years; each time tweaking the recipe a little to make it less caloric and lower in fat. I keep playing with the recipe and changing the amounts of sugar, butter, and milk to make it lighter. For this recipe, I accidently forgot to add the butter to the cake (what can happen when you cook four things at once!) and I only realized it after I put the cake in the oven…and that’s how my new low-fat version was created. The sugar has been decreased substantially; there is no butter or oil, instead I use skim milk (no fat) and eggs to moisten the cake. I mix unsweetened cocoa and low-sugar chocolate drinking powder to give a balance of intense chocolate and sweet flavors. I like to pour a light chocolate ganache glaze over it, but you can serve it with powdered sugar on top. No one has noticed that this cake is low-fat. For this recipe I baked the cake on a large baking sheet and cut out circles using a cookie cutter. I used the glaze in between layers (allowed it to set) and on top of the cake to achieve the cake pictured here.

Food Cookture_Chocolate Cake_pic3

Chocolate Cake (Low-fat)
Serves 8-10 (cutting 2 circles per serving; using rectangular 12×9 inch (30x23cm) pan)
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30-40 minutes (depending on oven and baking dish used)
Cooking temperature: 350°F (180°C)

Ingredients – Chocolate Cake

  • 4 large eggs (separated)
  • 1 cup (140g) flour (you can always substitute for whole wheat flour)
  • ¼ cup (50g) sugar
  • ½ cup (30g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup (30g) chocolate drinking powder
  • 1 cup (250ml) skim (no fat) milk
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder

Ingredients – Chocolate Glaze:

  • 2 Tablespoons (30g) butter
  • 5.5 ounces (150 g) of chopped chocolate (I used 72% cocoa, you can use 85% or 60% chocolate of your choice)
  • ¾ cup (165ml) skim (no fat) milk
  • 3 Tablespoons of heavy whipping cream (click here to see different types of cream) (you can skip the cream if you would like the recipe to be lighter; however the cream gives it a thicker consistency to the glaze).


  1. Beat the egg whites until fluffy; reserve.
  2. Beat egg yolks with sugar. Add flour, cocoa and chocolate powders, and milk until well combined. Gently fold in egg whites and baking powder.
  3. Butter and flour a baking dish (you may want to use wax or parchment paper –butter and flour it as well- depending on the dish, since this recipe has no butter or oil, it may stick to the surface of the dish). Bake at 350°F (180°C) for 30 minutes (until an inserted toothpick comes out clean from center); if needed, bake for another 5-10 minutes.
  4. For the glaze: Constantly mix the milk, cream and butter in a sauce pan over low-heat until it steams but does not reach a boiling point. Remove from the heat and add the chopped chocolate pieces and whisk until completely dissolved. Once the cake is cooled, pour chocolate glaze over the cake and decorate.

I hope you enjoy this recipe. Thank you once again for following Food Cookture for the past year! I look forward to sharing many more recipes with you for many more years!

Posted in Brunch/Breakfast, Cakes, Desserts, Healthy Cookture, Snacks, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

In Honor of Parmigiano Reggiano Night: Risotto Cacio e Pepe!

October 27, 2012 at 8pm at the “Salone del Gusto” in Turin, Italy, was the webcasted event “Parmigiano Reggiano Night.” This occasion was to celebrate one of Italy’s most beloved cheeses and an opportunity to virtually share the table with all who supported the local cheese farmers and companies that produce the almighty Parmigiano Reggiano!

The Northern Italian region of Emilia-Romagna was greatly affected by the earthquakes of May 20th and 29th. Well-known for its traditional regional cuisine and infamous local products (such as Parmigiano Reggiano, prosciutto di Parma, and Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena, to name just a few), the region has hundreds of regional farmers that were affected and many small artisan companies that were damaged during the earthquakes. Many people bought stranded wheels of Parmigiano Reggiano online that would otherwise have no home to age in. To thank people for their support, the Parmigiano Reggiano Consortium created the “Parmigiano Reggiano Night” which invited homes around Italy to take part in the webcasted dinner event that shared a recipe by Modena native and world-renowned Chef Massimo Bottura, owner of the Three Michelin “Osteria Francescana” restaurant in Modena, Italy. Chef Bottura created a risotto recipe to be shared at the “Parmigiano Reggiano Night.’ His “Risotto Cacio e Pepe” (cheese and pepper risotto) uses Parmigiano Reggiano cheese as the highlight ingredient, instead of the traditional Pecorino Romano for the “cacio” (see my previous recipe for “Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe” for more information). Click here to see a brief interview with Chef Bottura explaining the inspiration for his dish.

About this recipe
The recipe I share with you is from Chef Massimo Bottura. I only changed the amount of risotto made (4 servings instead of 6 servings) and I simplified the “pepe” element to include a mix of black, white, green and pink peppercorns instead of his more exotic mix of white, Szechuan, Jamaican, Sarawak, and wild peppers. I strongly encourage you to follow his recipe if you can find this wonderful blend for your risotto.

A word of advice: don’t be intimidated by the risotto! As long as you know how you like your risotto, you will know how to cook it. Since the liquid element (usually broth) is slowly added ladle by ladle and stirred until the rice absorbs it before adding more liquid, you will be able to moderate how your rice cooks to your taste. Yes, it is that simple, even if risotto disguises itself as a sophisticated dish, it is not complicated to make.

Chef Bottura’s recipe fascinated me because he obtains the liquid element for the risotto from the aged parmesan cheese! The recipe calls for heating the freshly grated aged parmesan with water, until the cheese separates into threads. Allowing the liquid to cool and be refrigerated overnight creates a separation of “Parmigiano Reggiano water” used to cook the rice, and a “Parmigiano Reggiano cream” that is used towards the end to cream the risotto. The result… Brilliant! The flavor… mmm…Divine! I will certainly be using this “Bottura technique” very often!

Risotto Cacio e Pepe
Recipe from Chef Massimo Bottura for “Parmigiano Reggiano Night”
Serves 4
Prep time: 10 minutes to make the Parmigiano Reggiano Water (to be made the day before)
Cook time: 30-35 minutes

Ingredients – Parmigiano Reggiano Water:

  • 35 ounces (992g) of freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano (ideally one that has been aged for 30 months)
  • 2 2/3 liters of water

Ingredients – Risotto:

  • 12 oz (330g) of Arborio rice (Chef Bottura uses “Vialone Nano rice”)
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • Freshly cracked pepper mix*

Recipe Note: For the pepper, I used a mixed of black, white, green, and pink peppercorns. Chef Bottura uses a mix of white, Szechuan, Jamaican, Sarawak, and wild peppers.

Directions for the Parmigiano Reggiano Water

  1. Mix freshly grated cheese with water.
  2. In a pan, at low heat stir cheese and water mixture (if you have a thermometer, heat it up to 176°F (80°C). Note: do not go over 194°F (90°C). According to the original recipe “when the Parmigiano Reggiano starts to go into threads at the bottom, remove the pan from the heat and leave it to cool down to room temperature.”
  3. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and leave overnight in the fridge.
  4. The mixture will separate into a creamy solid and water parts. You will use the Parmigiano Reggiano water to cook the risotto, and the cream part towards the end to make the risotto creamy.

Directions for the Risotto

  1. In a medium sized pan, heat the olive oil (at low heat) and add the Arborio rice and stir the rice to get an even coating of the oil. Sauté the rice in the oil for a minute.
  2. Add some of the Parmigiano Reggiano water (enough just to cover the rice), and stir frequently until the water is absorbed (but the rice is not dry).
  3. Keep adding the Parmigiano Reggiano water until the rice develops a softer consistency by taste. When it is nearly cooked, add some of the Parmigiano Reggiano cream and stir thoroughly.
  4. If needed, add more of the Parmigiano Reggiano water, until the rice reaches your desired consistency in texture.
  5. Remove from heat and add the remainder of the Parmigiano Reggiano cream.
  6. Plate the risotto and sprinkle freshly cracked pepper on top.
  7. Serve immediately.

I hope you give this recipe a try, and share the love for one of Italy’s favorite cheeses at your dinner table! Enjoy!

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