Monday, March 24, 2014

Asparagus Risotto

Spring WAS HERE! It left yesterday when it snowed all day, but before that it was so sunny and warm and perfect for about two and a half weeks and we've been outside as much as possible. Two weeks ago I went down to Venice for the day and the vegetable market by the Rialto Bridge was filled with....asparagus! Finally! Here, they are a true sign of spring because we can't buy them until March.

So, this month's risotto is made with spring asparagus:

I made a little extra this time because I had lots of asparagus and I was thinking that leftovers would be good, but the risotto ended up being so good that we ate it all at dinner! Here's what you do...

As usual, simmer either chicken or vegetable stock, about four cups. Dice half an onion and a shallot and put them in a frying pan with about 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Once they are soft, add one cup of Arborio rice and stir to coat.

Meanwhile, break the ends off the asparagus, drizzle them with olive oil, a little salt and pepper and a few chili flakes, and roast them in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes, or until they are soft (I actually like them kind of burnt and crispy too).

Back to the rice - add a ladle of stock to the rice mixture and stir. Once the rice has absorbed the stock, add another ladle, and repeat this process until the rice is tender but still has its chewy bite... you'll just know when it's right.

When the asparagus are done, remove them from the oven and chop them coarsely. Add them to the rice along with a half a cup of freshly grated Parmesan. Stir together and serve immediately. Yum.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Seaside Getaway

Since it's been so spring-y lately, my friend Cori and I decided we needed to be by the sea!

So, we drove down to Trieste which is a seaport right on the Adriatic, very near to Slovenia. And then we did absolutely nothing but stare at the water for the whole afternoon and evening and then again for a bit the next morning. But here are some pictures, if you'd like to see...

We arrived around lunchtime and we walked around town for a bit until we found a spot to eat that was right on the Grand Canal. We read that it's hard to find a bad meal in Trieste (unless you don't like seafood!) and we found that to be true. Everything we had there was amazing and we ate lots of fish since we don't get that too much in Cortina!

After lunch we wandered around town and came across the outdoor market which was filled with flower stalls and spice stalls with tons of different salts and spice mixtures that looked amazing.

We sat in the main square, the Piazza Unita d'Italia, on big comfy chairs in the sun which is what everyone else was doing too...

In the late afternoon, we headed down to the pier to sit by the water and watch the sun set with the local fishermen.

The next morning we took our time driving home, stopping on the way to walk on the beach and look at the Miramare Castle which was right on the sea.

And now our mini spring break by the sea is over and we're back to mountain living! The second round of playoffs starts tonight!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Playoff Season

It's playoff time AGAIN! Last night Cortina made it through the first round (beating Fassa 5-0, 5-2 and 5-1 in a best of 5 series).

The second round starts next Thursday. In true Italian fashion, the second round is completely different from the first round. While eight teams entered the playoffs, you would think that after the first round, there would be four teams remaining. Wrong. There are six. You can follow along on the team's website (here) or Pointstreak (here). Ryan has been on fire this playoff season with 11 points in 3 games....this picture sums it up perfectly:

Image via Cortina Hockey                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Homemade Ravioli

Ryan and I got married seven months ago and all last summer, a new wedding present would appear on our doorstep from Crate and Barrel. We knew we were coming back to Cortina in September, so we didn't want to open anything too much since it was packaged so carefully and we didn't want anything to break in our storage unit. When we started packing for Cortina, we were a little sad to part with our first matching sets of silverware and wine glasses, but we couldn't take our presents with us because honestly, if we shipped them, they still might not be here. But! There was one little present that we took with us. Our brand new ravioli stamp (thank you, Leigh)! And last night we tackled homemade ravioli.

I used this recipe to make the pasta dough. At first it looked like this:

But then we got everything figured out and it turned into this:

We made a spinach and ricotta filling and then rolled and rolled and rolled, stuffed and cut the squares. There was flour everywhere.

We were very busy! We started at 5:30 and ate at 8:00....

But, in the end they were delicious and we can't wait to try it again with different fillings.