Risotto

Recipe courtesy of Cook Street School

Yield: 8 servings

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 shallots, finely diced to the size of the rice
  • 1 cup Carnaroli rice
  • ¾ cup Orvietto wine or Mâcon-Villages Chardonnay
  • 4 to 5 cups hot chicken broth
  • ½ cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • ¼ Pecorino Roman cheese
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper

Heat the butter without browning in a 9 or 10-inch straight-sided skillet (sautoir). When it is hot, add the shallots. Add a pinch of salt, and sauté 1 or 2 minutes until the shallots soften. Add the rice and toss to coat.

Being careful not to brown the rice, cook it in the butter until the grains, which are somewhat translucent when uncooked, become opaque. Turn the heat to high, add the wine, and evaporate it completely. Reduce the heat to low. Add hot chicken stock by the ladleful to cover the risotto. Allow the broth to evaporate by half, replenish the liquid, and give a sprinkle of salt. Cook the risotto slowly, replenishing liquid as needed to the level of the rice, until the rice is ‘al dente.’ This means that when you test the doneness of a single grain of rice, you can feel that the outside of the rice is cooked, and that at the very center there is some resistance. It is better to stop at underdone, as the risotto continues to cook while you finish it and get it to table. Stir only occasionally to ensure that risotto is not sticking to the pan. Work with a fork in order not to break the grains and to cause them to leach starch. To season properly, coax the flavor along throughout the cooking by adding a small pinch of salt each time stock is added, and of course taste as you go along.

The finished dish should have distinct grains of rice surrounded by a brothy sauce. There should be enough sauce so that the liquid is “ondolante,” or wavy.

Present in soup bowls, garnish generously with Parma cheese, give a grinding of fresh pepper, and serve hot.