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La Belle Cuisine - More Side Dish

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Boiled  Rice with Parmesan, Mozzarella, and Basil



5000 Wines

"I have made a lot of mistakes falling in love, and regretted most of them,
but never the potatoes that went with them."
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Cucina Italiana
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Boiled Rice with Parmesan, Mozzarella, and Basil
Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking
by Marcella Hazan, 1993, Alfred A. Knopf  

La Belle Cuisine cannot urge you strongly enough to do yourself a favor and purchase this excellent cookbook!  It is, 'filled with culinary wisdom and crystal-clear recipes,' (Jeff Steingarten, Vogue), 'the one Italian cookbook you would take to a desert island,' (Sidney Moore, Washington Post), and 'quite simply, the most logical and helpful book on Italian cooking.' (William Rice, Chicago Tribune) 

“Butter and cheese melting in a bowl of hot, boiled rice is one of the unsung joys of the Italian table. The version given below is tossed with butter, Parmesan, mozzarella, and basil.”

For 4 servings

4 tablespoons (˝ stick) butter
6 ounces mozzarella, preferably imported buffalo-milk mozzarella
1˝ cups white rice, preferably Arborio
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
4 to 6 fresh basil leaves, shredded by hand

Bring the butter to room temperature and cut it into small pieces.

Shred the mozzarella on the largest holes of the grater or, if it is too soft to grate, cut it up very fine with a chopping knife.

Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil, add a tablespoon of salt, and as the water resumes boiling, add the rice. Stir immediately with a wooden spoon for about 5 or 10 seconds. Cover the pot and adjust heat to cook at a moderate, but constant boil, until the rice is tender, but al dente, firm to the bite. It should take between 15 and 20 minutes, depending on the rice variety. Stir from time to time while the rice cooks.

Drain the rice and transfer to a warm serving bowl. Add the shredded mozzarella, mixing it in quickly and thoroughly so that the heat of the rice can string it out. Promptly add the grated Parmesan and stir well so that it can dissolve and cling to the rice. Add the butter, stir once more to melt and distribute it, add the shredded basil leaves, stir again, and serve immediately.


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