The Bartolini Family Risotto

My Very First Risotto

The Bartolini Family Risotto myfavouritepastime.com_0777_2_2If you are my blogging buddy then you must know by now that I tend to cook faster than I post and I love eating rice. I eat rice at least thrice a week, so I’ve amassed hundreds of rice recipes (I am yet to post them). Who wants to eat the same rice in a row? Not me. The strange thing, though, is I’ve never cooked risotto. I don’t really know why but I guess it’s because I prefer recipes that say simmer for XX minutes and set aside for another XXX minutes. That way I get to relax or do other things or just laze about doing nothing in particular. This doesn’t work very well with risotto. You have to coax it and stir it and coax it some more for about twenty minutes, so I always just postponed cooking risotto until I met my friend John from Bartolini Kitchens, and he somehow convinced me in his humorous post to cook risotto.

The Bartolini Family Risotto myfavouritepastime.com_8769_2I don’t know how many of you have eaten chicken gizzards. It’s found in the meat section of your local store and is usually packed with some chicken hearts, too. The main ingredients in this risotto are: chicken gizzardsmushrooms and Arborio rice. If you don’t know what gizzards are then how should I explain it? According to dear wiki, it’s a specialized stomach constructed of thick, muscular walls and is used for grinding up food (in dinosaurs (LOL), birds, crocodiles, alligators). Click here for a photo. I made this risotto sometime in October, immediately after the Canadian Thanksgiving so I had gallons of homemade stock that needed to be used. In the first part of the recipe (ingredients for gizzards), I omitted celery and carrots and added only 1½ cups of water. I also added some smoked paprika, chilli flakes and two tablespoons tomato paste to give the risotto a little colour. For the complete instructions on how to cook this wonderful and unique risotto, please click here. John explained the process so well I don’t want to reinvent the wheel. To my friend John, I want to say thank you so much for introducing me to the risotto world. I have since made ten different risottos (Omg when will I post them???) and we now happily eat risotto once a week. I like mine just moist…not too fluid.

The Bartolini Family Risotto For Cooking Instructions and ingredients, Please Click Here 

Ingredients for gizzards

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lb (455 g) chicken gizzards & hearts
  • ½ teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 celery stalk 
  • 1 carrot
  • (2 quarts water (8 cups) 370ml (1½ cups) water (I had a lot of homemade stock at hand)

Ingredients for risotto

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small – medium onion, diced fine
  • 10 button or cremini mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 7 to 8 cups stock
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • Pecorino Romano cheese

The Bartolini Family Risotto myfavouritepastime.com_8847We really enjoyed eating the risotto and we now make it at least once a month. Thanks John for this wonderful recipe.

Author: Liz

I love everything food: eating, cooking, baking and travelling. I also love photography and nature.

52 thoughts

    1. Hey there Keith,
      I didn’t even realize it was you. Omg. I am so happy so see you after a long span of silence. I love risotto too! What’s cooking up there? I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Fabulous 2014. Best wishes and thanks so much for popping by!
      Liz

  1. It really is a fabulous experience to cook something new, isn’t it?! If you had not mentioned it, I could not have told that this was a first attempt – you risotto just look wonderful!

    1. Hi Afra,
      It’s always a pleasure to see you. Oh yes I did cook my very first risotto and have since made ten others (not posted). We have sunshine today…so good. Wish you a lovely day. Best wishes!
      Liz

      1. Wow you really are enjoying your risotto 🙂 We are having another storm here. Although it is not to bad where I live the last half hour brought lightning, thunder, sheet or rain and hail…But looking out through the window it is fabulous to see 🙂

        1. Hey its so good to hear from you. I can imagine the thunder, rain and hail. We had that two weeks ago, but now everything is settled for the moment. I have just seen you spinach-lentil-fish dish. Very healthy and comforting. Have a lovely evening. Best wishes
          Liz

  2. Fantastic, this looks delicious. I’m too lazy and tend to buy “home cooked” risottos (always mushroom) and reheat. I’m reminded of masterchef episodes where risotto seems to be the recipe for sorting out the chefs from the wannabes. Have a great day Chef!

    1. Hi there Lignum,
      You always make me laugh! I love your visits. In that case I am hanging somewhere between the chef and the wannabes probably leaning more towards the wannabes? Have a great day and stop buying those “home cooked” risottos. Don’t you wannabe a chef? Best wishes, Lignum
      Liz

  3. I don’t often see someone who cooks with chicken gizzards, so this surprised me. This looks yummy, as usual, but dairy doesn’t agree with me anymore, so I will just drool and leave it at that.

    1. Hi Mary J,
      Chicken gizzards are a delicacy in most parts of the world. However, most people fry them. Even my mother used to fry them and sometimes she would make them with some thick tomato sauce. They are delicious. You should give them a go. You can omit the cheese. Thanks for stopping by and wish you all the best.
      Liz

      1. I’ve actually had gizzards. A friend from long ago used to make chicken gizzards and hearts in a gravy and plop them over toast. That was pretty good. I don’t always see them in the meat aisle, but I suppose I could ask for them.

        1. Glad to hear you’ve eaten them. There are always just a few packs in my store next to other chicken parts. I don’t think they bring them everyday though. Lookout for them or even better just ask. Thanks and take care!
          Liz

    1. Hi Aunt Juju,
      I’ve googled it. It does look really cool. I have never used a rice cooker before but I guess it’s high time I started. thanks so much for introducing me to Breville Risotto Plus. I shall write to Santa Dearest. You never know!!! Have a lovely week!
      Liz

        1. Thank you Aunt Juju. I’ve always just cooked rice the traditional way and often wondered which rice cooker to buy if I ever decided to. Now I know the good brand. Incidentally I just borrowed a rice cooker cookbook by Julie Kaufmann from the library, the other day. It teaches how to make all the different kinds of rice e.g. Paella, risotto, Piliau etc in a rice cooker. Thanks and have a good week. Best wishes
          Liz

    1. Hi Fae,
      First of all I want to thank you so much for always supporting me on Facebook. I really appreciate. I have no words to express my appreciation.
      I love gizzards too, especially the fried ones. I look forward to the chicken liver recipe. I might just add it to my repertoire. I haven’t eaten liver in a while. Thanks again and take care! I am so glad I met you.
      Best wishes!
      Liz

  4. Howdy, Liz! Oh me, oh my. This risotto looks so creamy and scrumptious. I am a big fan of sautéed mushrooms – and certainly pecorino romano cheese. It is a great sheep’s milk, aged cheese. MMM. I love that you used homemade stock! I bet a splash of pinot grigio would go well, too, when the stock is added. I seem to add wine to everything (this way the bottle is open – and I must have a glass. HMMMM). You know, I grew up eating big plates of fried chicken gizzards with sautéd onions. They are one of my favorite foods! I love that they are incorporated in this dish, along with smoked paprika (a favourite of mine!). I would probably add a bit of garlic, too – it is my weakness (my breath would be much better without it, I am sure. HA). Your risotto looks so rich, decadent and velvety – I am tempted to make my very first risotto now! As you said, it takes much tender love and care, so it is a true challenge. You succeeded – delicious. Take care! – Shanna xx

    1. Dear Shanna,
      I love, love Love Pecorino Romano (x10)…ha ha we used to do this in elementary school LOL. I can see you cooking and sipping some Pinot Grigio in the name of cooking but sipping anyway. Tomorrow I shall be making some bolognese with lots of wine, (no sipping LOL). There was a time when I used to add wine to everything too. Please don’t cajole me back to it.
      My mother used to fry gizzards too. Lots of it. I never thought gizzards would be stewed until much later in life. I was tempted to add garlic, too. I’ve just had some Marinara sauce with loads of garlic. It was delicious. If you’ve never made risotto then this is the time before 2013 turns a new leaf. You got the right description for it “tender loving care” thank you. I am also working on a post for tomorrow. Thanks and have a good night. Best…Liz

      1. Hi, Liz,
        I also LOVE bolognese, as does Abba. We have a recipe we have made for the past decade plus, but I would like to add yours. Of course, I always sip wine if it is called for in the recipe… It is a travesty for a mum to not treat herself!
        You are really encouraging me to make risotto, but for some reason I am still intimidated. I do adore, ADORE rice, though. You need to put your recipes up soon, speaking of which!
        How did your mum prepare her gizzards? I thought I was the only child who grew up eating them!
        I am looking forward to your post. Take good care.
        Warmest regards,
        Shanna

        1. Hi Shanna,
          I did make the bolognese tonight, with red wine and served it with steamed rice instead. It was delicious. I ate so much…I am going to have trouble turning in bed. And now that you talked about sipping wine, I actually sipped one glass (horrors!)
          The trouble with rice recipes is I never get the photos right the first or second or sometimes the third time. That’s why I take so long to post. I think I have to go for some photography classes (LOL).
          My mum used to simmer gizzards in a little stock until cooked then evaporate the stock and fry in oil or with a little tomato and onion sauce with some cilantro. Have a goodnight Shanna. Best LIz

    1. Hi rey & lyn,
      It’s very nice. I also used to fry my gizzards before but I tried this and loved it. Thanks for complimenting.
      Best wishes,
      Liz

    1. Hi Karen,
      every time I hear the word dirty rice, I chuckle. I wonder who gave it that name. It does look like dirty rice, ha ha. Please share with me a recipe for dirty rice. I wish you a fantastic week!
      Liz

  5. Congrats on your first risotto! I love to make it, I think I started after our first trip to Italy together. It is such a wonderful rich and creamy dish. I would make it more often if it weren’t for all the carbs! I like to add veggies and/or a protein and it truly is a one dish meal. The kids love it too. I think my favorites are mushroom risotto and caprese risotto with fresh tomatoes, basil and mozzarella (though summer is when tomatoes are fresh and not the best time to stand over a hot dish of risotto)! Can’t wait to see the other ones you made.

    1. Hey gal I’ve never been to Italy…sigh, I am so glad to hear you love to make risotto. Can you please share some of those lovely recipes by posting them. My kids love risotto too. I made a sweet potato risotto. It’s my favourite so far…with some white wine. Yum! I look forward to seeing some of your risottos. Have a lovely week!
      Liz

        1. I can imagine how nice it tastes. I look forward to your risotto recipes. I shall sub the potatoes with butternut squash, next time I make the risotto. What a great idea. Have a lovely day!
          Liz

  6. I am so glad you enjoyed or recipe, Liz. This will please Zia no end. We both always feel honored when someone tries one of our family recipes. Of course, it’s even better if they like it. 🙂
    I’m glad, too, that you made it your own. This is my family’s recipe. Use it to create you own family’s recipe. The main thing is that you got past that first hurdle of making a successful risotto. Not everyone does and it can be very discouraging. With risotto successfully completed, how do you feel about making ravioli? ‘)

    1. Hi John,
      Of course we did enjoy the recipe so much. Thanks to you.. We had the risotto, again, two days ago…my son really loves it. You remember the 13 year old of course. I love rice so much and my goal is always to find ways of cooking it so that it tastes and feels different every time.
      I’ve recently taken to cooking lots of pasta too. I have a book with 150 recipes and my goal is to go through all the recipes (some are quite similar though). I have made about 8 so far and the cooking continues. I shall be posting more risottos soon and the ravioli? I shall definitely try it, after Christmas. Don’t worry John, I shall surprise you one of these fine days. I wish you a fabulous week. I hope your renovation went on well and Max is coping well too. Best wishes, John and thanks for being a great gentleman. My warm wishes to Zia.
      Liz

  7. Congrats on your first Risotto, Liz! It’s worth all the work, isn’t it? Now you can add another few hundred recipes to your rice repertoire!! You’d better get cooking! 🙂

    1. Hi Chef,
      Thank you. It’s sure worth the work. And I love it that I make more vegetarian ones. Makes me take a break from meat. My repertoire is growing by leaps and bounds. Have a wonderful week!
      Liz

  8. i love chicken gizzards. over here in japan you can get almost any part of the chicken in the grocery store: gizzards, hearts, knees, wings, and even skin. i love to skewer and barbecue the skin. i’m sure it is awful for you, but i don’t really care enough to hold back.

    gizzard risotto sounds like it might be right up my alley. next time i find myself with a gizzard surplus, i might have to give this a try.

    1. Hi Misha,
      Me too. I love gizzards. You make me want to visit Japan tomorrow. It sounds like a very interesting country. You forgot to add feet to your list. I’m sure feet are also available. It’s a good way of making use of everything. Remove the skin for the weight watchers, but hey we can still sell them. Did you know fried or BBQ skin is the tastiest part of the chicken? It’s not awful at all.
      Please try the recipe. I highly recommend it. And thanks for brightening my day. You’re such a wonderful person. Have a fantastic week!
      Liz

  9. Congratulations on the risotto Liz, it looks luscious! You are so adventurous with trying different recipes. Good going! I have to admit, I’ve made it in the past and it’s been hit and miss, probably more miss, I think I’m too impatient! I like the idea that this recipe Is the complete meal. I hope you are having a good week.

    1. Hi there Sandy,
      I am sitting by the fire although it’s getting too hot for my liking. I love trying out recipes, my problem is I never get time to post them. Your bread is on the line..I shall keep you posted. I only wish I could pour water and just let the risotto boil and cook itself, but I’m getting used to it now and starting to enjoy the whole business. Thanks so much for always being here. You are my rock. Best wishes!
      Liz

    1. Ha Ha I happily eat gizzards and the pretty little hearts. I cringe every time I slice through one though. It feels like slicing through a real heart, LOL.
      The risotto was good. Everyone loved it. Have a great week.You are both in my thoughts and prayers. Best wishes!
      Liz

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