On a recent trip to Italy, my native land, I purchased several large chunks of real parmigiano cheese. There it stood, at the outdoor market, looking so incredibly delicious that it just seemed like a good idea. Until I had to pack it! Even still, it was worth the weight it took to bring it back home! This recipe comes from having purchased too many zucchini for a cooking class I was running. I had leftovers and just had to come up with something to do with, and since I love rice, this was a no-brainer. —Francesca
Add your diced zucchini, onion, olive oil, parsley, butter and salt to a medium sauté pan and start sautéing on medium heat for a few minutes.
Add your uncooked rice and sauté that for a few additional minutes. The mixture will look dry a bit, and that is ok for now. You’re essentially frying the rice right now while it releases its starches.
Add your wine and keep sautéing until that evaporates, which will be a few additional minutes.
When the wine has evaporated and it starts looking dry again, add one cup of hot vegetable stock and keep stirring. (Keep your stock hot in a separate pan on low-medium heat)
Let that cup of vegetable stock get absorbed in the rice and as that happens, add another cup.
You will need to do this process a few times until the rice cooks, which can take anywhere from 30-40 minutes and 4-6 cups of stock have been used. Do not get temped to add all the stock at once. That defeats the purpose of risotto. This process allows for the rice to properly release the starches and create a creamy and fragrant final product.
When the rice is cooked and you’ve used most, if not all of your stock, remove from heat and add your parmiggiano cheese.