Tuesdays with Luca - Cooking Risotto
We are starting a brand new blog series that we know will be enjoyed by all wine and food lovers! Each week, we will be posting a brand new recipe and wine pairing from our very own Chef Luca. If you have ever had lunch at Avignonesi, you know how wonderfully tasty and delicious these pairings are.
This week, we are starting with an Italian classic, risotto. Elevated by Chef Luca with Tuscan herbs and prosecco. We hope you enjoy as much as we did!
Rice is the most widely consumed cereal in the world but the risotto-type cooking is exclusively Italian. The term "risotto" has two possible derivations: some say it came from an exclamation of Frederick Barbarossa, who praised a "Risum optimum"; others maintain it derived from a term used by the Insubres, the Celts that inhabited Lombardy, "risott." At the end of the 18th century, the term is first found in a household book by Antonio Albertazzi, a lawyer living in the Val d'Ossola, in northern Piedmont.
The risotto recipe was finally born in 1829 when chef Felice Luraschi described in detail. His recipe included coded 3 basic steps: roasting the rice with butter and onion, then cooking adding the broth little by little, and the final mixing to serve it soft.
Its main feature is the retention of starch that during the cooking process binds the grains together in a creamy compound. Among the different qualities of rice, there are some particularly suitable for risotto, such as Arborio, Carnaroli, Maratelli, Vialone nano.
RISOTTO WITH TUSCAN HERBS AND PROSECCO
400 gr (1 ¾ cups) Arborio rice
250-375 ml (1-1.5 cups) Prosecco
500-625 ml (2-2.5 cups) meat or vegetable broth
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, 3 fresh sage leaves, a few sprigs of fresh thyme, a few sprigs of fresh oregano - All finely chopped
½ of a white onion, finely chopped
Avignonesi Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Pinch of salt
30 g (¼ cup) parmesan
Add a bit of Avignonesi Extra Virgin Olive Oil to the pan, heat it up, and sauté the onion. Once cooked, add the rice and let it toast a few minutes in the mixture.
Pour the prosecco, just enough to cover it and let it absorb. Keep stirring.
Continue to add broth, bit by bit, for 15 minutes, stirring gently the entire time. Allow each ladleful to be absorbed before adding the next.
Halfway through, add the fresh herbs and prosecco.
Carry on adding stock until the rice is soft but with a slight bite.
At the end of the cooking time, stir some butter and cheese into the rice and serve hot.
Avignonesi Il Marzocco Chardonnay
The full body and acidity of the wine pairs beautifully with the fullness of this dish and helps to balance the richness. The citrus flavors in the wine, along with the fresh Tuscan herbs will have you believing you are in Tuscany yourself!