Risotto with prosecco and balsamic
( SERVES 4 )
Photo by Tamara West
Serve small portions as a simple starter, or it would be rather nice served with lamb cutlets.
- Bring the stock to the boil, then reduce the heat and keep at a gentle simmer.
- Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a large heavy based saucepan and gently cook the shallot, ensuring it doesn’t brown. Add the rice and toast on a medium heat for a few minutes until the rice is warm to the touch.
- Pour in the prosecco, stir gently, and cook until the liquid has evaporated.
- Add the hot stock all at once, stir gently, then cover with the lid. Reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes.
- Taste rice to check that it is “al dente’’.
- Once cooked, remove from the heat and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the grated Parmigiano Reggiano and stir vigorously until the cheese is incorporated, adding extra oil, and stock if necessary.
- To serve, either drizzle balsamic on each plate and top with risotto, or serve and finish each plate with a drizzle of balsamic. Top with shaved Parmigiano Reggiano.
- Eat with a fork and you should taste each individual grain followed by the other ingredients.
- Use the right rice: Ferron carnaroli or vialone nano, naturally!
- Choose the right pan: A heavy based pan that allows for even heat distribution.
- Toasting the rice: Never allow the onions (if using) and rice to brown as it ruins the flavour of the finished risotto and you will lock in the starch. Gabriele never toasts the rice in butter, only extra virgin olive oil.
- Stock: Use a mild-flavoured simmering stock and if you have not got a good stock use water, but keep an eye on your seasoning. The amount of stock for a “stirred risotto’’ is a guide only.
- Stirring risotto: It is not necessary to stir the rice every second of the way, but fairly constant stirring will create an evenly cooked risotto.
- Know the signs of perfectly cooked rice: You should be able to make a risotto from go to whoa in 20 minutes.
- Start tasting your rice after 15 minutes of cooking.
- Finished texture: If you like a ‘wet’ risotto, after creaming add a little more simmering stock.