We turned a beloved pasta dish into a delicious risotto loaded with flavor and umami
We’ve had a secret fave pasta recipe for years. It’s secret because, even though we entertain a lot, we can envision friends and family turning their noses up at the ingredient list. (ANCHOVIES! GASP!)
It’s also an easy weeknight meal that we could imagine enjoying in a quaint Tuscan village: Capers and garlic, sauteed briefly with the aforementioned anchovies in olive oil, then served with fresh pasta and topped with Parmesan and toasted bread crumbs.
So yeah, that’s how we roll at SSS HQ on a Tuesday night. But it was time to switch it up, so we pondered how those flavors would translate to risotto.
Pretty darn terrifically, it turns out.
We did this in our Instant Pot, because the risotto turns out just as good without all the stirring. But the recipe below will include a non-Instapot method for those who prefer. Either way, you’ll start by sauteing the garlic briefly in a little butter and olive oil with the minced anchovies and any oil from the anchovy can. After a minute or so, you’ll toss the arborio rice in with the garlic mixture and stir for about 3 minutes until it’s toasted and coated in the fat. Then stir in the capers and some red pepper flakes.
Making Risotto with Anchovies and Capers
For the Instant Pot method, here’s where you stir in the wine and scrape the bottom to deglaze the pan until the wine is mostly cooked off. Then add the chicken broth, seal and cook on the Instant Pot’s Manual setting on high pressure for five minutes. If you’re doing the traditional risotto method, start stirring and adding the broth until it’s done, about 45 minutes or so.
While the risotto is cooking, since you don’t have to stand there and stir constantly, you can toast some breadcrumbs. We just tear a hunk of bread into pieces and throw it in our blender or food processor. (We use a Magic Bullet, actually.) We’ve used spare English muffins, hot dog buns, whatever you have handy, and grind it into fine bread crumbs. Then toast it dry in a nonstick skillet under medium-low heat, stirring often, until it gets golden brown but before it burns. This is a great topping that gives a little toasty, crunchy texture to your risotto, pasta or other dishes.
After you’ve released the pressure on your risotto, or stirred it on the stovetop for a while, taste it to see if it’s soft and creamy. If it’s still a bit crunchy, stir on saute mode a bit longer, adding a little water if it’s too thick. Once it’s creamy and done, stir in the Parmesan, reserving a quarter cup to put atop your dish with the breadcrumbs and some capers.
And here’s the result. Maybe this will become your new favorite recipe that you don’t tell anyone about.