Dining at the Tutto Bene Risotteria in Southbank inspired this recipe. The basic risotto recipe is adapted from Anneka Manning’s Good Food and is another example of emulating a restaurant dish that paid off. I’ve tried shortcuts to making risotto, but nothing compares to a full flavoured risotto prepared the traditional way, stirring continuously and sweating over a hot stove. To obtain good results use a good quality rice such as Vialone Nano, which is what I’ve used here.
5 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken stock (vegie stock will give a much darker colour to the risotto). I use Campbells.
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tbs butter
1 brown onion, finely chopped
2 garlice cloves, finely chopped
2 cups Vialone Nano, Carnaroli or Arborio rice
1/3 cup chopped mixed fresh herbs (ie parsley and basil)
1/2 cup grated Grana Padano or good quality parmesan
1 tbs butter
Ground black pepper to taste
Beurre Bosc Pear
Gorgonzola (I used Igor Gorgonzola Dolce from Woolies)
Good full bodied honey
Bring the stock to the boil in a pan. Reduce heat and keep the stock at a gentle simmer.
Heat the oil and the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often for 3 minutes, then add the garlic and cook, stirring for 4 minutes or until the onion is soft but not coloured.
Add the rice and stir over a medium heat to toast the grains for 1 minute or until well coated with oil and butter and the grains have become glassy. Add a ladleful of stock to the rice and stir with a wooden spoon over medium heat until all the stock is absorbed. This takes patience, and drinking a couple of glasses of your favourite wine. Continue to add a ladleful of stock at a time, stirring constantly and allowing the liquid to be absorbed before adding more stock. Cook until the rice is tender, and the risotto is creamy and all the stock has been absorbed. Start tasting at about 15 minutes. The risotto will take approximately 20-25 minutes to cook. Working up a little sweat is normal and the wine helps you forget how much constant stirring is involved.
Now for the fun bit. Remove the risotto from the heat and stir in the chopped herbs, parmesan and extra butter. Season with pepper and taste. Add a few small chunks of gorgonzola, thinly sliced pear and around a teaspoon of honey on top and serve immediately. Feel free to experiment with the toppings. Prawns in brown butter on top are delicious too.
Serves 4 as a main.