Zucchini & Squash Risotto with Roasted Pork Chops (Risotto alla Zucchine / Cucuzza con Braciola di Maiale)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4-6
  • 1 cup Arborio or Carnaroli rice
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 3-4 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup grated Grana Padano
  • Freshly ground black pepper and Kosher Salt
  • 2 medium sized zucchini, finely chopped
  • 2 medium sized squash (any variety), finely chopped
  • 6 to 8 cups of water (you can use also homemade chicken stock or low sodium chicken stock)
  • 1-2 tablespoons of saffron
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, chopped finely
  1. Clean the squash and zucchini well and cut into smaller pieces (into half inch cubes) and set aside (note: buy the best vegetables you can afford). Place the the olive oil, onions, and a half teaspoon salt in a large heavy pan and set the flame to medium. Cook down the onions until soft and then add the rice and zucchini and squash. Toast the rice until it becomes translucent (the center can have a bit of white color).
  2. To prepare the cooking liquid, add the water, wine, and saffron to a medium sized pot and bring to a boil (you can also add a bay leaf, a bit of salt, and freshly ground pepper to the liquid). You can also add chicken or vegetable broth to the cooking liquid but I find it unnecessary and given the expense associated with saffron, I don't like anything to overpower the ingredient.
  3. Next, ladle in 3-4 cups of hot liquid or enough to cover the rice completely. Cook and stir for 5-8 minutes (making sure to reduce the flame to a simmer). Continue to ladle in more cooking liquid to cover the rice and stir frequently. This process can go on for 30-40 minutes and you'll know you're done when the rice has released it's starch and the kernels are tender. Once you've reached the consistency you like, add the butter and grated cheese and stir well. Remove the pot from your fire and cover for a few minutes (this promotes a bit more cooking and will add more texture to the final product). You can finely chopped parsley before serving, if you'd like.
  4. We served the risotto with local pork chops from a New Jersey farm. The traditional way to eat risotto is as a first dish (in a bowl preferably) as you would eat pasta before a main course. The pork was marinated in garlic, lemon, and soy sauce for 3 hours. Thereafter, the pork chops were grilled on high heat and then placed in the oven for 20-25 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. We let the pork sit for 15 minutes after removing from the oven.
  5. Serve the risotto and pork shops with a hearty beer or a glass of Barolo.
Recipe by Scordo.com - Italian Food Recipes and Lifestyle at http://www.scordo.com/italian-culture/zucchini-summer-squash-risotto-with-roasted-pork-chops.html