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.