Orzo with porcini mushrooms and monkfish
When you put together two ingredients like these, is what in Italy is called "mare e monti", a recipe with an element from the sea, an element from the water.
This morning I was spending my time at Francesca's house and I decided to invite myself for lunch. As all the things that come as a surprise, I was happy with everything she would have put in the table. But I was a bit demanding and I asked her if we can cook together fried meatballs (polpette fritte) but sadly there were no eggs to make them.
So we opened the cupboard and we had a look at the ingredients available and the magic happened: what about some orzo with porcini and monkfish?
I am always happy to experiment, I always think that in the worst option you have tried something new but if you succeed you have found one of your masterpieces! And this recipe is one of the latest.
We cook orzo as risotto, adding some water from time to time, and using butter to "mantecare" ( mix in butter in the last phase of sauteing to reach a creamy consistence).
The result is a creamy and delicate pasta that will leave your guests really with open mouth.
Ingredients ( for 3 people with good appetite)
300 gr of Orzo Pasta
30 gr Porcini mushroom dehydrated
2 small pieces of monkfish cut in little squares
1/2 onion finely chopped
Parsley and chive to garnish to e finely chopped
1 clove of garlic
1 glass of white wine (optional)
Soak your dehydrated porcini mushrooms in warm water for around 30 minutes ( or for the time indicated in the bag). Once ready, remove the mushrooms from the water and put them on the side. Use a fine mesh colander to filter the water. Do not throw it away, you will use it for your orzo later.
Cut your two pieces of monkfish in little pieces. In a pan heat the butter, let it melt, add a clove of garlic and then add the monkfish and cook it for around 5 minutes at a medium heat. It does not have to cook too much as you will have to move it later to cook with the orzo. Once slightly cooked add the porcini mushrooms and cook it for 2/3 minutes more.
Now turn off the gas and let it rest and focus on the other pan.
Heat 1/2 spoons of butter in a different and large pan and stir fry the chopped onion until softened and add the orzo. Add the white wine and let it evaporate.
Now slowly and in different times, until absorption, add first the water left from the porcini mushrooms and then the salted hot water and stir it patiently.
After 5 minutes add the monkfish and the mushrooms, add more water always slowly and keep stirring until the orzo is cooked.
Once cooked, add a little spoon of butter and stir it well. Garnish with some parsley and chive.
Let it rest for few minutes and serve.