Parmesan Risotto

Parmesan Risotto

99% Fat-Free Italian CookingThis is one of the simplest and most basic risottos. The quality of the cheese is critical; this is not the time to substitute a lesser alternative for Parmigiano-Reggiano.

We like the dish with Veal Spiedini (page 154), but it really complements a wide range of main courses, as long as they don't contain any Parmesan themselves. For the ultimate luxury, top Parmesan Risotto with shaved or sliced truffles.

  • 6 cups Beef Stock (see page 21), or 4 cups commercial beef broth plus 2 cups water
  • 4 ounces leek (about 1 thin leek), trimmed, cleaned, quartered lengthwise, and thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 cups Vialone Nano, Carnaroli, or Arborio rice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

In a medium saucepan, bring the stock to a boil. Adjust the heat to maintain a simmer

Meanwhile, preheat a large, heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. Add the leek and water. Sauté for about 3 minutes, until the leek is soft and most of the water has evaporated. Add the rice and continue to cook and stir for about 3 minutes more, until the rice is very lightly toasted.

Vigorously stir in 1 cup of the hot stock. Once the liquid has been absorbed and small craters dot the creamy surface, add 1 cup more. Stir and bring back to a simmer. When this addition has been absorbed, add the rest of the stock 1/2 cup at a time, stirring after each addition. Continue to stir until the risotto is creamy and tender. This should take 25 to 30 minutes from the first addition of stock.

Stir in the salt, black pepper, and Parmesan and serve 1 cup to each person.

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Excerpted from 99% FAT-FREE ITALIAN COOKING by Barry Bluestein Copyright © 1999 by Bluestein/Morrissey. Excerpted by permission of Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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