This classic dish from Milan
requires careful attention but is well worth the effort. The creamy texture and exquisite
flavor and color delight eye and palate alike. Risotto is one of the few rice dishes where
the rice is stirred while cooking, necessitated by the nature of arborio, a short grain
rice from the north of Italy. It is a traditional accompaniment for Osso Buco and
dishes prepared in the Florentine style. With the addition of julienne ham, pickled
tongue, mushrooms or truffles it serves as a separate course.
cup arborio rice* 2 T. butter
½ finely chopped small onion ½ cup dry white wine
3-4 cups chicken, veal or vegetable stock ¼ tsp.
saffron ½ cup grated Parmesano Reggiano
Melt 1T. butter in a heavy
bottom casserole or saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté till limp but not
colored. Blend in the rest of the butter, then add the rice. Stir with a wooden spoon
until rice begins to stick to the bottom of the pan. Add the wine and continue stirring
until it evaporates. Mix the saffron with simmering stock and quickly add 1 cup of the
mixture to the rice. Gently stir until it is almost completely absorbed. Continue this
process until the rice is done yet still firm (approx. 15 min.). Add the Parmesan and stir to blend. Serve
immediately. (Serves 4)
*Arborio can now be found in many
supermarkets. If not, try gourmet shops or Italian specialty stores. Grains should
be unbroken and evenly translucent, not opaque.