Risotto Con L'Erbe Fresche e Yogurt

November 8, 2011 9:36:07 AM PST
David Rocco, the host of The Cooking Channel's David Rocco's Dolce Vita is out with a new cookbook, Made In Italy.
  • 500 g (2 cups) Italian rice
  • l liter (4 cups) vegetable broth
  • 3 tbsp (45 ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • 40 grams anchovies, minced
  • 1-2 tbsp (15-30 ml) butter
  • 2 shallots or 1 medium white onion, minced
  • 1 cup (250 ml) white wine
  • 1 tbsp sage, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp mint, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp thyme, finely chopped
  • zest of 1 lemon, grated
  • 125 grams of plain yogurt
  • Salt, QB
    • Whether you're using water or broth, heat it up to a low simmer.

      The first step is to make a soffritto or flavor base. Pour olive oil into your pan, and on medium heat add in your shallots or white onion and gently sauté until they become sweet and soft. Be careful not to brown them.

      Turn up the heat to medium high, add in the rice and stir so that all the grains of rice are coated in the olive oil. Cook until the rice becomes translucent. Add in your wine, which should be at room temperature, and let that get fully absorbed by the rice. (if you're using water instead of broth an extra splash of wine doesn't hurt). At this point you'll start seeing some of the creaminess coming out of the rice and the smell will be incredible.

      Now you're ready to start adding in your liquid. So, take a ladleful of the simmering water or broth, and a good pinch of salt, add it to the rice and stir to mix. Let that cook until the rice absorbs the water. Add another ladleful and stir and wait until that is absorbed. You want to give it a stir every couple of minutes to encourage the starches out of the rice, and also so that nothing is tempted to stick. You will see the dish start to get creamy.

      Taste as you go along and if you need more salt, add more! Continue to add water by the ladleful until the rice is al dente, cooked, but slightly chewy, and the entire dish is creamy. This will take about 16-18 minutes. As for when to stop putting in the liquid? Risotto can be dense and somewhat dry, or somewhat soupy, or as the Italians say al'onda - like a wave when you tap the pot. It's all personal preference.

      When the risotto is done, remove it from the heat. Stir in the yogurt, lemon zest, the finely chopped herbs and anchovies. Mix well and serve immediately.

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