Cooking the perfect risotto is a true art. This week’s recipe requires a patience and a little time, but is worth every second!
- 1 pound of aborio rice
- 4 cloves of peeled garlic (crushed)
- ½ cup fine chopped onion
- ½ pound fresh porcini (cut into quarters length wise)
- 7 ounces extra virgin olive oil
- ½ pound fresh ripe grape tomato
- ¼ cup chopped Italian parsley
- ½ ounce dried porcini mushroom
- 40 ounces water
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- As you make the risotto you will continually need liquid to add to the risotto. On the back of the stove in a pot that will hold 6 quarts of water, heat the pot until the water is simmering. In that water put ½ ounce of dried porcini and sea salt to taste. The water should taste seasoned. This will flavor the water so your risotto is not bland and flavorless.
- In a large fondo (a pan six inches high and approximately twenty inches round) add 4 ounces of olive oil at medium heat, when heated add the finely chopped onion and sauté until translucent.
- Now add the rice to the fondo. The idea is to lightly toast the rice before adding the liquid. Using a wood spoon stir the rice until so it does not stick, until it starts to toast and turn light brown approximately 4-5 minutes. Use the spoon to push the rice against the sides of the fondo as stirring. This process allows the rice to release more starch during cooking.
- Once the rice is lightly toasted, using a 6-ounce ladle begin to ladle the hot liquid from the pot on the back of the stove into the rice one ladle at a time. Remember to keep stirring the rice as it prevents the rice from sticking to the pan but it also helps the rice release its starch, which is vital to the creaminess of risotto. As each ladle of liquid is absorbed by the rice, it is gaining flavor and texture, as each ladle of liquid is absorbed add another ladle to the rice. Making great risotto is tedious but worth it in the end. Keep stirring the risotto with the wood spoon and adding liquid until the rice becomes very creamy and tender, but the center of each rice grain should still be firm, al dente. This entire process should take approximately twenty minutes and use eight to ten ladles of water. Place in serving bowls immediately.
- In a fourteen inch sauté pan put three ounces of olive oil and heat at medium heat. As oil starts to get hot add the crushed garlic to the sauté pan. Continue to sauté the garlic until the garlic starts to brown.
- At this point add the porcini mushrooms, tomatoes, parsley and salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Cook for five to seven minutes until tomatoes start to split open, place a spoonful of the porcini mixture on top of each serving of risotto. Finish the serving plates with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.