Risotto is one of my favorite dishes. It can be made with almost anything as long you have the basic ingredients which are broth (meat, fish or vegetable), a good quality rice like Carnaroli or Arborio, white onions, salted butter and dry white wine, a large stainless steel pan and lots of patience. A real risotto “montecato” must be made with butter not olive oil and definitely not margarine.
The recipe I’m sharing today is one of my favorites; this delicate, yet simple risotto recipe can be paired up with almost anything. I like to garnish with pepperoncino (flaky red pepper) for added spiciness.
Risotto al prosciutto e formaggio – Ham and Cheese Risotto
Doses: 6 Preparation: 15 min. Cooking: 50 min. Difficulty: low
1 lb. Arborio or Carnaroli rice
½ cup salted butter
1 small white onion finely chopped
1 thick slice of ham cut in small cubes
½ cup fontina cheese cut in small cubes
1 ½ cups Parmesan cheese
5 cups hot broth (chicken or beef)
Sea salt to taste
¼ Tsp. flaky red pepper (optional)
Sauté the onion in half the butter until it begins to turn golden, add the ham and the wine and cook over a low heat until the wine has fully evaporated.
Toast the rice, mix well, and be careful not to burn the rice, then add 2 ladles of broth and stir well. Season with salt; continue to add the broth a ladle at a time as it absorbs while cooking. Stir gently constantly.
When the rice has almost completely reached the al dente stage, reduce the heat and stir in the remaining butter and the cheeses (fontina and parmigiano cheese). Cook two more minutes. Taste and adjust the salt and cook an additional minute or two if needed.
Add the flaky red pepper; let the risotto rest covered for a minute then stir briefly. Transfer to a serving bowl, top with grated Parmesan cheese and some more red pepper. Serve hot.