9 Risotto With White Truffle

Foodie Discovers Italy, Mortgages House

Risotto is a turning-point in every Foodie’s life. It has to be served immediately after being made. As it cannot wait or be reheated, it is not a restaurant dish. The moment of truth is when a Foodie learns to make it herself. Only then does she discover what the fuss is about – soft, creamy but separate grains of rice, each one exquisitely flavoured, bound in just the right amount of sauce.

The principle of making risotto is to coat special rice – Arborio – and aromatics, such as onion or shallot, with oil and butter, then adding small amounts of a hot, flavoured liquid, and stirring constantly until the rice has exactly the correct degree of chewiness and the right amount of sauce. The risotto is finished with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and more butter, and the white truffle is sliced razor-thin over the top with the special instrument pictured here.

Method

This recipe is adapted from Marcella Hazan’s Classic Italian Cookbook, and makes four servings as a first course.

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan sweat 2 tbs finely chopped shallots in 25 g (1 oz) unsalted butter and 2 tbs of good oil. Do not brown. Add 300 g (10½ oz, 1⅔ US cups) Arborio rice, and stir until coated with the fat. Stirring constantly, add 150 ml (¼ pint, US cup) hot chicken stock. When this liquid is absorbed, add another 150 ml, until you have used up 1¼ 1 (2 pints, 5 US cups) of stock, adding hot water if more liquid is required, and slowing down the rate at which liquid is added as you near the end of the cooking. Marcella Hazan says it should be ‘creamy but not runny’. Taste for salt and stir in 60 g (2 oz) fresh grated Parmesan, and, if you like, 15 g (1½oz) more butter.

Shave as much white truffle over the top as you can afford. This recipe is quite good without the truffle.

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