ffwD: Dressy Pasta “Risotto”


Happy New Year! Seeing as it’s a brand new year of French Fridays with Dorie, I was hopeful this week’s assignment, dressy pasta “risotto”, would be an instant success. However, Dorie’s recipe, as written, was rather salty for my taste, specifically from the amount of Parmesan AND the chicken bouillon cubes.

To be clear, this “risotto” isn’t a risotto at all but instead a fancy macaroni and cheese. When I read macaroni and cheese, I immediately wanted to add pancetta to the dish. Good thing I didn’t considering the dish’s initial saltiness. Maybe next time I’ll stick with plain water for boiling and forgo the bouillon cubes.

Despite the saltiness, this was a very creamy dish due to the marscarpone cheese. I’ll definitely make this again but will make sure to cut the saltiness and have something sweet to drink!

This dressy pasta “risotto” was made for French Fridays with Dorie, a group of bloggers who are cooking their way through Dorie Greenspanโ€™s Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours.


65 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ei
    Jan 03, 2014 @ 08:11:04

    Sorry yours came out salty! I used boxed chicken broth, and didn’t have a salt problem. I wonder if the bouillon cube amped up the salt. Looks creamy and delicious, though!

  2. Liz Berg
    Jan 03, 2014 @ 08:13:47

    I used Pacific brand chicken broth and had to add a wee bit of salt. Loved this one! I love salt, but too much is a bummer.

  3. Food,Photography & France
    Jan 03, 2014 @ 08:16:04

    Crazy little picture…very funky. Sounds delicious, if a bit salty:)

  4. Corina
    Jan 03, 2014 @ 08:19:00

    It looks really creamy and delicious – I love creamy pasta dishes although I don’t make them very often.

  5. Arthur in the Garden!
    Jan 03, 2014 @ 08:42:29


  6. Jean | DelightfulRepast.com
    Jan 03, 2014 @ 09:23:03

    Love a creamy pasta! It’s so disappointing when a dish is too salty. I don’t use bouillon cubes; maybe that was the problem. I always use organic lower sodium chicken broth.

  7. suzanne
    Jan 03, 2014 @ 09:24:04

    Yum! mascarpone mac and cheese, love it!

  8. Paula @ Vintage Kitchen Notes
    Jan 03, 2014 @ 09:32:47

    I’ve been intrigued by this recipe for some time now. Must make it soon! Happy new year!

  9. Cathleen
    Jan 03, 2014 @ 09:33:17

    Your “risotto” looks like creamy deliciousness!

  10. Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen
    Jan 03, 2014 @ 09:55:12

    We have a restaurant that amps up the salt in every dish.. we used to love it but lately have asked to have it reduced. This is a beautiful looking dish.. worth cutting back the salt for good results! Happy New Year!!

  11. EmilyC
    Jan 03, 2014 @ 10:24:07

    You got a great looking dish despite the saltiness! I used homemade fish stock and held back on the salt (after Diane’s tip regarding salt) used lots of pepper!!

  12. morristownmemos by Ronnie Hammer
    Jan 03, 2014 @ 11:46:30

    In my “I Hate to Cook” cookbook I learned that if a soup is too salty you can put a few peeled white potatoes into the broth and simmer. The potatoes will absorb extra salt. But I don’t think it would work with a risotto…

  13. kitchconundrum
    Jan 03, 2014 @ 12:03:30

    This was such a good recipe! Glad I waited until the end to add salt- the Parm and the stock made it pretty salty already. I hope you try it again! (And pancetta would be delicious! Great idea!)

  14. Adriana @ GreatFood360ยฐ
    Jan 03, 2014 @ 12:25:47

    Bouillion cubes are a mixed bag sometimes. I’ve had to water down recipes to tone out some of the salt. Your pasta does look perfectly creamy, though.

  15. milex
    Jan 03, 2014 @ 12:31:05

    damn girl!<3

  16. bakeawaywithme.com
    Jan 03, 2014 @ 12:36:53

    I used regular chicken broth. Bouillon cubes tend to be quite salty. Your pasta certainly does look goodโ€ฆcreamy and luscious looking!

  17. Juliana
    Jan 03, 2014 @ 13:05:12

    Sorry that the pasta dish came out too salty…but I love the idea of mascarpone…yum!
    Happy New Year ๐Ÿ˜€

  18. My Kitchen Stories
    Jan 03, 2014 @ 13:56:58

    I try never to use stock cubes for this reason. Looks like a very nice creamy pasta dish though. Thanks for visiting me in 2013. Happy 2014

  19. Marta @ What should I eat for breakfast today
    Jan 03, 2014 @ 15:06:52

    Happy New Year! Fancy mac and cheese sounds great.

  20. Inger Wilkerson
    Jan 03, 2014 @ 15:38:24

    Looks beautiful and creamy! Good heads up on the saltiness.

  21. nana
    Jan 03, 2014 @ 15:54:17

    After reading about this possibly being too salty, I did not add any. My hubby always adds salt to everything even before he tastes it, so I figured no sense
    overdoing it. It worked perfectly. We loved it. Happy New Year.

  22. Confessions of a Culinary Diva
    Jan 03, 2014 @ 16:34:54

    Interesting, I was wondering what the difference of the bouillon cubes would be – I used unsalted chicken broth and mine was not salty at all.

    Happy New Year!

  23. Shut Up & Cook
    Jan 03, 2014 @ 17:06:19

    How I adore Dorie….always fun to see what others are doing with her recipes. Thanks for sharing!

  24. Norma Chang
    Jan 03, 2014 @ 17:33:37

    That dish does look creamy, not a fan of bouillon cubes.

  25. Hotly Spiced
    Jan 03, 2014 @ 18:46:54

    It definitely looks more like a macaroni and cheese than a risotto. What a shame it was too salty because it looks like wonderful comfort food to me xx

  26. Balvinder
    Jan 03, 2014 @ 19:11:11

    What a beautiful creamy pasta! Happy New Year!

  27. Cakelaw
    Jan 03, 2014 @ 19:46:11

    Your pasta looks wonderful YC. Happy New Year!

  28. Geraldine Saucier
    Jan 03, 2014 @ 20:02:31

    Pasta looks delicious. Saltiness can be a problem.

  29. Libby
    Jan 03, 2014 @ 20:18:57

    Yum! Sounds like a very comforting dish!

  30. sprinklesandsauce
    Jan 03, 2014 @ 20:32:07

    Looks like a comforting dish!

  31. betsy
    Jan 03, 2014 @ 20:52:37

    Sorry yours came out so salty. I used low-sodium chicken broth from a box, and it wasn’t too salty. I even put some truffle salt on top. Pancetta sounds like a tasty addition. And, I love your blue plate.

  32. Melo Limparfaite
    Jan 03, 2014 @ 22:24:31

    That looks simple but I never tried it !
    Happy new year dear !

  33. Tandy | Lavender and Lime
    Jan 03, 2014 @ 22:47:33

    There is nothing worse than an overly salted meal!

  34. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef
    Jan 04, 2014 @ 00:44:39

    I don’t like salty foods so I’d have to eat something with it to cut back on the saltiness but it sounds wonderful.

  35. Peachy @ The Peach Kitchen
    Jan 04, 2014 @ 07:14:02

    love your mac n’ cheese! Happy New Year!

  36. Guyla
    Jan 04, 2014 @ 08:46:47

    We loved this. I can see how it could be too salty but all in all we enjoyed it. Glad you liked it too. Happy 2014.

  37. Alice
    Jan 04, 2014 @ 11:50:38

    we served ours with baked chicken which we just cut up and mixed into this in the end and that was a great counterpoint too, made it less salty! ๐Ÿ™‚ have a great weekend!

  38. dulceshome
    Jan 04, 2014 @ 12:07:10

    I thought this was really yummy. I always use Penzey’s chicken soup base, which isn’t salty – too bad yours was a bit too much. I did finish mine with some truffle salt which was wonderful. Probably the Champagne with it helped. ๐Ÿ™‚ Happy New Year!

  39. Beth
    Jan 04, 2014 @ 13:42:22

    Sounds good – if I make it, I’ll be sure to reduce the salt!

  40. Karen
    Jan 04, 2014 @ 14:21:34

    It looks so creamyโ€ฆit is a shame it was too salty.

  41. Mardi (eat. live. travel. write.)
    Jan 04, 2014 @ 15:38:00

    Definitely agree re the salt – I didn’t use any salt at all and much less Parmesan than the recipe called for as I figured it would be too much. This was a great dish though, will make again.

  42. Three Well Beings
    Jan 04, 2014 @ 22:29:16

    Oh do I love a good macaroni and cheese! I love the mascarpone addition! This is comfort food that speaks to me. ๐Ÿ™‚ Happiest of new years to you, Yummy!

  43. cquek
    Jan 05, 2014 @ 02:41:48

    This just screams comfort! Perfect for these cool autumn days/nights

  44. Monica
    Jan 05, 2014 @ 06:59:14

    I was just reading something about cooking pasta like risotto to make a natural sauce. I don’t think this is the same thing but it got me thinking of that. It looks very tasty and good tip about reducing salt.

  45. Sharon
    Jan 05, 2014 @ 07:20:57

    I loveeee macaroni and cheese ๐Ÿ™‚ So this seems great!

  46. Tricia S.
    Jan 05, 2014 @ 12:27:21

    So sorry to hear that yours was too salty. I had seen that a few other Doristas said the same and wonder if the difference is bouillon cubes vs liquid broth…though I think more likely it may have to do with how much salt we all add to our meals. I know I add too much (more than others….) so it didn’t seem salty in the end to me. Imagine you are way healthier ๐Ÿ™‚ I agree about it being a keeper and do want to tweak my additions in the future- lots of bonne idea out there !!

  47. Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl
    Jan 05, 2014 @ 12:39:09

    Creamy and with pancetta? Perfection! Major yums on this dish.

  48. Mary @ Fit and Fed
    Jan 05, 2014 @ 17:00:29

    Too bad about the salt, normally I’m a fan of mascarpone so the recipe sounds promising. The last thing I made with mascarpone wasn’t ideal, though, either– added it to an ice cream I was making and it turned out too rich, rather like sticking your spoon into a solid chunk of cream cheese. Oh well, we keep experimenting……

  49. teaandscones
    Jan 05, 2014 @ 20:50:06

    Pancetta sounds perfect to add to this but would have to watch the salt.

  50. trevorsisboom
    Jan 05, 2014 @ 23:45:08

    I didn’t use the cubes but I did for the upcoming ‘party soups’. I’ve never really used them before and I must reserve judgement. I think they need to be really diluted to use lest the salt levels get too high. I did think the mascarpone sweetness was a nice foil for the tang of the parmesan.

  51. Sally Sellwood (@Recipejunkie27)
    Jan 06, 2014 @ 01:04:52

    I love the idea of this – agree I’d have wanted to add pancetta too!

  52. Anita Menon
    Jan 06, 2014 @ 01:23:00

    Quite rich looking at all the cream. I bet it must be tasty too! How many recipes more to go from the FFWD? ๐Ÿ™‚

  53. Angelstar Christy
    Jan 06, 2014 @ 07:42:17

    Aww…so sorry to hear about the salty part, but I am sure it wasn’t too bad! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Happy New Year to you and your family!~ ๐Ÿ™‚


  54. Gloria
    Jan 06, 2014 @ 11:29:31

    Nice idea to change rice in pasta for a risotto!!

  55. Cher
    Jan 06, 2014 @ 11:58:15

    Pancetta would have been great.

    I used a low sodium broth & pecorino romana, so didn’t seem to struggle with salt. This was a nice, simple dish. Perfect for post holiday laziness ๐Ÿ™‚

  56. Amy Andrews
    Jan 06, 2014 @ 13:57:43

    Thanks for the tip on the saltiness. Marscarpone — YUM! Need more ways to get this stuff in our meals. Perfect! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

  57. Amy Andrews
    Jan 06, 2014 @ 13:58:14

    Not sure how I got the sad face in there. Def a happy one! ๐Ÿ™‚

  58. Ameena
    Jan 06, 2014 @ 19:22:10

    Finally..something I can relate to! I don’t eat mac and cheese ( can’t do the cheese ) but I actually do make one. From scratch! And people eat it and like it.


  59. kitchen flavours
    Jan 06, 2014 @ 21:01:05

    It looks delicious!
    Happy New Year!

  60. anecdotesandapples
    Jan 06, 2014 @ 22:45:10

    Delicious! You can’t go wrong with cheese! Thank you for sharing!

  61. The Foodie Affair
    Jan 06, 2014 @ 23:36:06

    Looks creamy and delicious! Comfort food for sure!

  62. bitsandbreadcrumbs
    Jan 07, 2014 @ 10:02:22

    Love the idea of mascarpone in mac and cheese. Happy New Year, Yummy!

  63. Nami | Just One Cookbook
    Jan 07, 2014 @ 11:57:30

    Great way to start a new year with a dish that everyone enjoys (minus saltiness)! Happy New Year! xo ๐Ÿ™‚

  64. tastytreats13
    Jan 07, 2014 @ 19:30:36

    This looks super delicious! I hope you are having a great start to 2014!

  65. jora
    Jan 13, 2014 @ 14:45:51

    Sorry you thought this was too salty. I actually buy salt-free bouillion, so I can just salt as I go.

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