This recipe is from Trattoria by Patricia Wells circa 1993. Patricia claims it was inspired by a restaurant in Milan called Casa Fontana. I loved this risotto so much that in 1997, I was in Milan and had a taxi driver bring me to Casa Fontana just so I could try their version. Sadly, it was not nearly as fabulous as Patricia's rendition. This recipe is so special because the herbs hit the lemon and create the most dynamic taste that goes way beyond a typical lemon, butter and cheese combo. Enjoy and don't forget to have all ingredients mise in place and constantly stir. —JulieBee
4-6 (really 4)
sprig of mint
sprig of rosemary
sprig of sage
zest of one lemon
virgin olive oil
2 minced shallots
sea salt to taste
1 1/2 cups
arborio or canoroli rice
freshly squeezed lemon
freshly grated reggiano plus more for table
In large saucepan keep stock simmering at barely a whisper.
Stem the herbs. Combine herbs with lemon zest and finely chop all together. Set aside.
In large heavy bottom pan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter add the tablespoon of evoo, the chopped shallots and a big pinch of kosher salt. Cook until shallots are soft and translucent... about 3 minutes. Don't let shallots brown.
Add the rice and stir to coat all grains with the butter and oil...about 1-2 minutes.
When rice becomes shiny start to add simmering stock one ladle at a time. Stir often and make sure risotto has absorbed the stock but always make sure there is a thin veil of stock covering rice. Continue adding stock and stirring until all stock has been used. Keep heat on medium low.
Rice should have a creamy porridge like consistency.
Remove pan from heat. Stir in remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, the herbs/lemon zest, lemon juice and Parmesan Reggiano. Mix, cover and let stand for 2 minutes. Check for seasoning using sea salt this time.
Transfer to warm shallow bowls and serve immediately with extra cheese.