stir crazy May 22, 2006


Risotto is one of those things that I just don’t make at home. I’ve made it for work many times…but it just seems too "labor intensive" for casual home cooking, which is silly. More often than not, the risottos I’ve eaten have all been in restaurants. To justify taking the time to cook it at home for dinner, I recruited my friend Alex and we gave it a go.


Truth be told, this risotto thing couldn’t be easier. The kicker is that there is a lot of stirring. When I say a lot, I mean a lot…and a lot really means constant. Other than that, it’s easy peasy.


Alex taking his turn as blog guest star – or guest-stirrer, as the case may be.

I found the recipe that we used – Risotto with Peas and Prosciutto – on Epicurious. While the recipe was delicious and really used the ingredients well, we both concurred that there was something missing. More lemon zest? More onion? We had this an entree unaccompanied by anything else. I think it would be great with some grilled or sauteed shrimp to give the risotto some added sweetness.

Risotto with Peas and Prosciutto – makes 4 main course or 6-8 side dish servings

5 cups low sodium chicken broth

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

1/2 stick unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups Arborio rice

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 cup frozen baby peas, thawed

2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, cut crosswise into 1/4 inch wide strips

1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

1 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

3 tablespoons finely chopped flat leaf parsley

Bring broth to a simmer in a saucepan and keep at a bare simmer, covered

Cook onion in 2 tablespoons butter in a 3 to 4 quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add wine and simmer, stirring, until absorbed.

Stir in 1 cup simmering broth and cooking at a strong simmer, stirring constantly, until broth is absorbed. Continue simmering risotto and adding broth, about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and letting each addition become absorbed before adding next, until rice is just tender and creamy but al dente, 18 to 20 minutes. There will be leftover broth.

Stir in peas, prosciutto, zest, 2/3 cup cheese, parsley, remaining 2 tablespoons butter, and salt and pepper to taste. If necessary, thin risotto with some of the remaining broth. Serve immediately with remaining 1/3 cup cheese.


Marilyn May 22, 2006 05:05 pm

I had the same problem when once I made risotto, but this recipe looks great; I don’t know what I would change, either.

GadgetGeek2 May 23, 2006 07:05 am

Yum…. Another good one Tami. You are a keeper.

Bill Belew May 24, 2006 06:05 am

I know what you mean about labour intesive. I’ll be the first one to order a risotto out, but I blanch when someone suggests I just make my own. Much more fun to enjoy the wine and conversation before it is served! Great recipe!

Kevin May 24, 2006 11:05 am

I love making risotto at home. I don’t mind the stirring–but then again, I’m a tad weird. My favorite is made with lots of fresh carrot juice and white wine. I posted the recipe on my site. Here is the link.

Bollo May 27, 2006 03:05 pm

The only one I”ve had is served down the street from my work. It’s delicious, and they take the seafood route with blackened shrimp, scallops and calamari in it.
It is Der-O-Der(WOW)good

Nerissa May 28, 2006 10:05 pm

Sounds luscious! I’ve made only one risotto before and it was a salty disaster. However, I’m not phased and I would love to try yours. Doubt I’ll have prosciutto for the next month but maybe I’ll use Canadian bacon or the black forest ham
I so TOTALLY hear you about your recent DSL loss. In our middleof-nowhere village here our wireless tower was fried by lightning. And when you have only one guy in town who remotely has the skills for it, it takes a while to fix.

Brian Jun 14, 2006 04:06 am

Tami – try (aged)carnaroli next time. I make risotto all the time and have found that carnaroli gives a firmer, less gummy risotto. Leftover is actually edible the next day.
I think your missing ingredient is shallots. To me, onions are too bland for risotto. I don’t know what the deal with shallots and rice is, but they seem to draw out the individual flavors of the veggies, resulting in a saltimbocca-like zing that makes your skin crawl (in a good way). I’d trying substituting 5 or 6 shallots for the onion next time.
The Brian

Jane Jun 15, 2006 02:06 pm

Great recipe, thanks

Charmaine Jul 24, 2006 02:07 pm

You said you thought there was something missing in the risotto you made … I make risotto at home often and I substitute chopped fennel for the onion in most recipes (my family doesn’t love onions so I find alternates if I can) The fennel mellows and imparts a wonderful flavor to the risotto. I use the pea and procuitto recipe you did as well as various others including one with butternut squash and a little fried sage on top both taste great with the fennel.