I first introduced this amazing risotto in my Tuscan dinner party post. I realized I never got around to including the recipe for this risotto in that post so I thought I’d blog about it here. This risotto is completely decadent. My husband refers to it as the Italian version of mac & cheese and he’s spot on. What’s great about this recipe is the ingredients are rather simple. I always have parmesan cheese on hand and a few weeks ago I picked up a container of marscarpone and it’s been sitting in my fridge waiting to be turned in to something wonderful. Since we’re trying to eat what’s in the fridge as we’re getting ready to head out for the holidays this recipe for parmesan and marscarpone was the perfect thing to whip together. Since the flavor is so strong I served it with carrots that I roasted in the oven with a little olive oil. I threw the carrots in at 375 degrees when I started preparing the risotto and they were done when the risotto finished. Depending on who you’re feeding you could also pair this risotto with a simple steak with a little salt and pepper on the grill.
If you’ve never made risotto before there is no need to be intimidated. It’s actually quite easy if you follow a few simple steps. I’ve listed these tips in my Mushroom and Arugula risotto post.
- Recipe for Parmesan and Marscarpone Risotto -
Adapted from Chef Mary Ann Vitale of La Taverna Restaurant
- 7 cups of chicken broth
- 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 4 tablespoons of olive oil
- 3 shallots, minced
- 1/2 cup of dry white wine (or vermouth)
- 1 1/2 cups of Arborio rice
- 2 cups of freshly grate parmesan cheese ( I just chopped my block of parmesan in to 1″ cubes and then threw the cubes into my Cuisinart DLC-1BCH Mini-Prep Processor, Black Chrome
and ran it on high until the cheese was finely grated)
- 1/4 cup of chives (these add nice flavor so don’t skip them if you have access to chives)
- 1 cup of marscarpone
- Salt and pepper to taste
Bring the stock to a simmer in a medium sauce pan. Once simmering reduce to a low heat just to keep the broth warm. Heat oil and 2 tablespoons of butter in a heavy-bottomed pan (I like to use my Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast-Iron 5-1/2-Quart Round French Oven, Cherry for this recipe). Add the shallots and saute until transparent. Add the wine and cook for 1 minute, stirring the entire time. Using a wooden spoon stir in the rice and cook for 1 minute. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add 1 cup of the warm stock to the rice mixture, stirring constantly until liquid is absorbed (the mixture should be simmering). Add another cup of the warm broth to the rice mixture and bring to a boil. Cook the rice mixture at this high heat for 2 minutes and then reduce the heat back to a simmer. Continue adding the stock in 1/2 cup increments, stirring the entire time in one direction, until all the broth has been added to the rice mixture and the liquid is completely absorbed. The rice will be creamy at this point. Give it a taste. You’ll see that risotto should get it’s creaminess from this part of the cooking process, not from cream or any other ingredients. Remove the pot from the heat and vigorously stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, marscarpone, and parmesan cheese. Fold in chives and serve hot.
*Note – you’ll want to do the final step of adding the cheese and chives right before we serve this dish. If you add the cheese to the risotto and then leave it to sit the oil from the cheese will start to seep out. It will still taste good if this happens, it just doesn’t look very pretty.
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