Pasta, Risotto and You

By Nancy Caivano


Risotto-Zucchini Cakes

Serves 6


2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
   (or 2 tsp jar chopped garlic)
2 lb zucchini, thinly sliced
2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 cups simmering chicken stock

2 ripe beefsteak
   (or 4 plum) tomatoes, diced
4 tbsp butter

1 cup grated pecorino Romano cheese
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
2 tbsp thyme, chopped
Salt and Pepper

To fry the cakes:
All purpose flour
4 tbsp olive oil, divided


In a large saucepan, heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, and zucchini. Cook until zucchini is softened and just beginning to brown. Add rice, stirring constantly, and cook 5 minutes more, making sure rice does not brown. Add wine, stirring constantly, and let totally evaporate. When wine is evaporated, begin adding stock 1/2 cup at a time, letting each addition evaporate before adding the next addition.

After fourth addition of stock is added, begin tasting rice. Rice should be al dente when done. You need to keep tasting rice, because, depending on rice, you may or may not have to use all of the stock. Add tomatoes after fourth addition of stock is absorbed.

After last addition of stock is absorbed, remove from heat, and stir in butter. Transfer risotto to large bowl. Cool 30 minutes.

Mix Romano, parsley and thyme into risotto. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours.

Shape risotto into six 3-inch round patties, 3/4-inch thick, using about 1/3 cup risotto for each. Place risotto cakes on baking sheet. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour. (Can be prepared 8 hours ahead. Keep refrigerated.)

To fry the cakes: Place flour in shallow dish. Lightly coat each risotto cake with flour. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 3 risotto cakes and cook until golden brown and heated through, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer risotto cakes to paper towels to drain. Repeat with remaining olive oil and 3 risotto cakes. Transfer risotto cakes to platter and serve.

The cakes can be made ahead of time and heated on the grill or in the oven. Wrap well with foil, then place, uncovered on hot grill or in preheated oven, until hot and crisp.


Pasta Risotto and You


Pasta, Risotto and You Archive

This page created July 1999

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