Friday, December 16, 2005

Potato risotto?

Has anyone tried the recipe for Potato Risotto that was in the paper a couple of weeks ago? You are supposed to grate the potatoes, cut the shreds into approximately Arborio-rice-sized morsels, and then cook them in oil, wine, and mushroom stock all’ risotto. Similar recipes seem to have been around for a while, but this was the first I had seen.

Italian cuisine does have a number of dishes of the genre “X in the manner of Y;” Ada Boni’s Italian Regional Cooking lists Melanzane a fungetielli (eggplants cooked like mushrooms) in the chapter on Naples and Fagioli all’ Uccelletto (white beans cooked like small birds) in Tuscany, and Marcella Hazan describes her wonderful Carote in Scapece as being cooked in the manner of zucchini. In each of the above cases I am more familiar with the recipes mentioned than with the putative original recipes whose style they adapt, but this could be a coincidence.

I would not have thought of trying this spontaneously; it sounds like it could be a sticky mess, but then, so does a recipe for risotto the first time you read one. It occurs to me that I was once sure that a number of wonderful recipes must have been the result of typographical errors. I am thinking especially of dal bada, in which we fry ground dal without first cooking it (falafel is prepared in the same way).

Boni, Ada. Italian Regional Cooking. New York,: Dutton, 1969.

Hazan, Marcella. Marcella's Italian Kitchen. 1st ed. New York: Knopf : Distributed by Random House, 1986.


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