A proper Risotto has got to be one of life's little pleasures. Leave it to the Italians to take something as simple as rice, and turn it into a mouth watering dish! For the past years I have been making a sort of a cheater's version of Risotto, since, apparently Risotto is too much effort. I would like to dispel this myth once and for all by sharing the simplest of all Risotto recipes with you, "Risotto alla Parmigiana". I challenge everyone to share in this experience, as this is comfort food that rivals the best macaroni and cheese. And please, never ever use pre-shredded Parmesan from the pasta sauce aisle. A little goes a long way with the real stuff, and you can even save a few bucks by substituting Asiago cheese for the Parm. I did - and was happy to discover that Asiago is a beautiful thing in Risotto.
Read all the directions carefully before beginning to cook, since once you start the risotto you may not leave it's side until finished. Serve with either a light and crisp salad or a vegetable like asparagus, and you've got yourself a tasty meal! (Never mind the bargain price!)
Risotto alla Parmigiana
Serves 10 - can easily be halved, but left overs for the next day will not be turned down, I am sure of it!
30 g (2 tbsp) Butter
30 mL (2 tbsp) Vegetable Oil
30 g (about 1/4) Onion, chopped fine
450 g (1 lb) Italian Arborio rice
1.4 L Chicken stock, hot (!) - approximately
30 g (2 tbsp) Butter
90 g (about 1/2 cup) Parmesan cheese, grated
to taste Salt
Heat the butter and the oil in a large, straight-sided saute pan (not a sauce pot). Add the onion and saute on low heat until soft. Do not brown.
Add the rice and saute until well coated with the fat.
Using a ladle, add one ladle of stock to the rice. Stir the rice over medium-low heat until the stock is absorbed and the rice is almost dry.
Add another ladle of stock and repeat procedure. Do not add more than one ladleful of stock at a time.
Stop adding stock when the rice is tender but still firm. It should be very moist and creamy, but not runny. The cooking should take about 30 minutes.
Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and Parmesan cheese. Salt to taste.