A drive through the lovely countryside of the Veneto on a culinary tour in Italy with TIK will often mean passing rice mills as well as rice fields. So it should come as no surprise that rice dishes play an important part of the gastronomy of the region. Risotto is one of those dishes — or should we say many? After all, risotto is a versatile dish; not only can it be made with a variety of rices (such as Carnaroli and Arborio), but it can be infused with an incredible variety of flavors depending on what’s in season. Meats and seafood can be incorporated into these tasty dishes as well.
While there is definitely an art form to a great risotto — the rice needs to be cooked just right after all with plenty of stirring — one of the simpler (but no less delicious) recipes is a risotto alla Parmigiana (or risotto with Parmesan cheese), which you can make on a culinary tour in Italy with TIK. And before you say that Parmesan cheese is the purview of Emilia Romagna (and the city of Parma), that’s not the only “Parmesan” you’ll find in Italy!
In the region of the Veneto, a very similar cheese is Grana Padano. Like parmesan cheese of Emilia Romagna, it’s a hard and slow-ripened cheese… and it actually is made from milk that comes from the Po River valley in Emilia Romagna!
This particular risotto with parmesan recipe serves four to six people.
Risotto with Parmesan Cheese
Prep time: 10 minute
Cook time: 20 minutes
Cook method: Simmer
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 1 tbs evoo (extra virgin olive oil)
- 4 tbs butter
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 6 tbs Parmesan cheese, grated (plus more for serving)
- 2 cups Carnaroli rice
- 1/2 cup sparkling wine (like Prosecco)
- Salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a boil. Then reduce the stove’s heat, and continue to gently simmer.
2. In a large, heavy saucepan, melt a tablespoon of butter along with the EVOO over medium heat.
3. To the butter/oil, add in the onion; be sure to stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the onions become soft and translucent (about 3 minutes).
4. To the onions, add in the rice and keep stirring until every rice grain is coated with oil and butter; this should take about 3 minutes.
5. Next add in 1 cup of the stock, and stir until the liquid is absorbed by the rice mixture. Keep adding the stock — always about 1/2 cup at a time — all while stirring frequently and ensuring the liquid is absorbed before adding more. The rice should be cooked until tender and creamy but still al dente; or about 15-20 minutes. You might not use all the stock.
6. Take the pan off the stove, and then add in the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter, as well as the Parmesan cheese, sparkling wine, salt and pepper; stir it all in.
7. Allow the risotto to rest for a mine or two and serve hot. Additional parmesan can be served on the side… or right on top!
Want to learn even more about the fabulous gastronomy — rice and all — with a trip to the Veneto? Contact us to book your trip!
Interested in learning more risotto recipes? Try this Portuguese recipe for chicken with green asparagus risotto or these Italian recipes for risotto with black truffles, Carnaroli risotto with shrimp bisque, and risotto al chianti classico.
By Liz Hall
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