The inspiration for this particular dish is definitely New York City during the holidays. Before we moved to the United States, my father, a native New Yorker, would tell me about the magical atmosphere of the city around this time of year. He would always remember the smell of chestnuts roasting on the sidewalks, and after I moved here it became my favorite sign that the holidays have arrived. Although this is my favorite way of making it, you can use balsamic vinegar instead of marsala wine for a tangy-er taste. You can also omit both for a softer taste. In that case, I would add 1/2 cup of white wine to the rice/onions/mushroom/chestnuts mixture before starting to add in my broth. —CamsKitchen
medium-large onion, diced;
cloves garlic, minced or grated;
mixed mushrooms (whatever looks good that day, but I try to avoid white mushrooms. I prefer the meatier taste of cremini, shitake, and oyster mushrooms);
generous cup chestnuts, cut into bite-sized pieces;
Start heating stock in a pot - keep the stock simmering on low the entire time you are making the risotto so that you do not cool down the temperature of the pan as you are adding broth.
In a large skillet heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil on medium-high heat. Add the onions, garlic, mushrooms, chestnuts, salt and pepper. Let sweat for about five minutes until onions are turning translucent and the mushrooms have started to reduce.
Add rice to the skillet and allow to toast for about 2-3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium.
Add a ladelful of warm broth to the skillet and stir in. Keep adding broth to the skillet, one ladelful at a time, always waiting for all the liquid from the previous ladelful to be absorbed before adding a new one.
When only a little broth is left to be incorporated, add the rosemary leaves and allow the last of the broth to be absorbed. .
When risotto is almost done (only a slight bite is left to the rice), stir in the Marsala wine and allow the extra liquid to be absorbed and the alcohol to be cooked off. The risotto is ready when the rice is soft and creamy.