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A Cooking Kind of Day…



Earlier today I finally made the risotto I had planned to make for last week’s brunch. (You’re right – that is not a picture of risotto at the top of the page!)  I used a recipe in Mario Batali’s new cookbook, "Molto Italiano: 327 Simple Italian Recipes to Cook at Home" , Risotto con Zucca or Risotto with Squash, in this case Acorn Squash. 

As you probably know risotto takes a bit of time and while it’s cooking it needs to be stirred constantly.  As I was sitting there stirring and adding broth little by little, I was thinking how nice it was to be inside cooking on such a day.  It was raining and had been for hours; the dishwasher was humming; and, although I couldn’t really hear it, I was also doing wash so the washer and dryer were somewhere in the background noise.  I had a new CD, Children of the Revolution’s, "Liberation" playing – they had been the opening act for Pink Martini at one of the Ste. Michelle concerts I’d been to this summer and I really like them.  The windows were a little steamy from the risotto and the house smelled great!  The whole thing was just so comforting and cozy. 
The risotto was really good but I was a little disappointed that I couldn’t actually taste the squash, although it did seem to add an underlying taste or fullness to the taste.  Mario’s recipe calls for cubed squash, as opposed to cooking it, mashing it and then adding it to the risotto as many other recipes do.  By the time you are done cooking the risotto, though, the squash as been completely incorporated – you can’t really see it.  I still managed to eat a giant bowl of it and the best part is that there are enough leftovers for two or three more meals! 
Once I get in that cooking mood sometimes I just keep on going.  Right now, I’m making up a batch of marinara, mostly from the San Marzano tomatoes from my yard.  I threw in a few cherry tomatoes, too, to add more sweetness and there are lots of herbs simmering away in the pot.  At about 7:15 pm I went out to pick the herbs and was amazed at how dark it was!  I had to turn all the yard lights on to see what I was doing. 
The marinara is not for tonight – I’m still full from the risotto! It needs to simmer for a while and reduce a bit.  I’ll use it over the next few days and it will be even yummier as the flavors have a chance to really meld together. 
I guess it’s getting to be that time of year though – time to stay at home, cook up a little love and then settle in to enjoy it.  Maybe read a book by the fire.  And I’m sure there’s a glass of wine or two in there somewhere, too! :-)

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