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Author Notes: Risottos, finished off with creamy cheese, the choice is endless. In this recipe I chose Robiola cheese to finish off a plain risotto and serve it with crispy Italian Speck on top. A dash of freshly ground pepper and dinner is served. Robiola is an Italian soft-ripened cheese of the Stracchino family, made with varying proportions of cow’s, goat’s milk and sheep milk. Speck is a juniper-flavored ham originally from the North of Italy although they also make it in Germany. I used Italian Speck. —Maria Teresa Jorge
- 2 cups Carnaroli fine rice (not parboiled)
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 yellow onion very finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 3/4 cup Robiola Cheese (rind removed)
- 6 slices of Speck
- 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- black pepper
- Peel and chop very finely the shallots.
- Cut the speck slices in medium thin strips.
- Put the vegetable broth in a pan and keep it over low heat so it is always hot.
- In a pan melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat, add the other shallot and allow to cook for 5 minutes until translucent. Add the rice and fry until well coated in oil and lightly translucent.
- Add the white wine and allow the alcohol to evaporate completely.
- Add enough broth to just cover the rice, lower the heat to medium-low and allow to cook uncovered until it’s almost dry. Add another ladle of broth and stir. Allow to simmer gently until it’s almost dry again. Keep repeating the process, adding less and less stock every time you add it to the risotto.
- After 15 minutes, remove from the heat, add some freshly grated black pepper, 1 tablespoon of butter, the Robiola cut up in pieces and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon to melt the cheese and obtain a very creamy consistency. Check the seasoning. Cover and let rest for 3 minutes before serving.
- Meanwhile sauté the Speck in a non stick frying pan until crispy.
- Plate the risotto, adding the crispy Speck on top. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Vegetarian Holiday Side
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Savory Rice Dish
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