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Squaquerello

Squaquerello, Squacquerone?! What on earth is that?! Sometimes, I found this ingredient in Italian recipes and I always wondered what does this funny word stand for. Well, this creamy cheese of the Emilia-Romagna region, believe it or not, it is also available on our supermarket shelves. Not for long, I assume, since many people would not buy something which they never heard of but its usage is so simple that you I suggest you try it out! This soft cheese can be enjoyed as a spread on bread or the traditional Piadina Romagnola with some rocket and cherry tomatoes, it can be added to pasta, pizza or risotto. Since I happened to be at the supermarket which stocks it over the weekend I bought a tub and today tried the following easy recipe:

Risotto Squaquerello

Ingredients for 4 persons (as a starter):

  • 300g rice for risotto (I suggest Vialone Nano or Carnaroli)
  • 750ml stock
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tblsp squaquerello
  • 2 tblsp grated parmesan cheese
  • a bunch of rocket leaves
  • salt & pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil

Risotto SquaquerelloCook the rice according to the packet instructions. If you are using Vialone Nano I suggest the following method of cooking the rice. Take a large pan, fry the onion in a little olive oil until transparent then pour 750ml stock and bring to boil. Throw in the rice and stir once making sure rice is totally covered in the stock. Leave to cook according to the time on packet instructions (around 15 mins generally) without stirring. Check it out every now and then to make sure water has not evaporated, if that is the case just add some boiling water. When the rice is al dente add the squaquerello, parmesan, and rocket and stir well. Leave to rest for a couple of minutes, then decorate with rocket leaves and top with some olive oil. The taste is a creamy, fresh, bitter and tangy risotto!

For more information you can visit the following site: http://www.latteriamontello.com/en/nonno_nanni/squaquerello.php

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