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Risotto Allo Champagne rather Wicked but given the Proper Occasion

Risotto allo Champagne: Rather wicked, but given the proper occasion…

The creation of a good risotto is rather like riding a bicycle: It takes a little bit of practice to begin with, and a certain amount of attention but from then on.

A good Risotto is all about timing, and this is why when served in restaurants one should have to wait least 20 minutes if it’s going to have that rich texture and just-right doneness that a good home-made risotto has.

When make a risotto, choose short-grained round or semi-round rice; among the best rice’s for making risottos are Arborio, Vialone Nano, and Carnaroli. The short-grained rice’s such as Originario are passable as a second choice. Never use Long grained rice such as Basmati, because the grains will stay separate and over cook. Minuit rice is not recommended as it won’t absorb the condiments, and once more the grains will remain separate.

Typical Italian risottos are usually made following the same basic method, with slight variations:

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cooking Time: 30 minutes

First start by finely chopping a medium onion and whatever other ingredients the recipe calls for.

Saut the mixture in abundant olive oil and butter until golden, remove it with a slotted spoon and put it into a bowl, leaving the drippings in the pan.

Pour in the rice and saut until it becomes translucent (this take 7-10 minutes), stirring constantly to keep it from sticking. (The Italians say the secret to a perfect risotto is to stir only in one direction from beginning to end).

Return the sauted ingredients back into the pan and stir in a glass of dry red or white wine this should be at room temperature (if it not you will shock the rice, which will crumble on the outside and not cook on the inside).

Make sure you let the wine evaporated entirely, then add a ladle of hot broth, you will need at least 1 liter simmering in another pan ; stir in the next ladle before all the liquid is absorbed, otherwise the grains get too dry and flake.

Keep cooking, and adding ladles of broth as the rice absorbs it, until the rice just about reaches the al dente stage (if you want your risotto firm, time your additions of broth so that the rice will finish absorbing the broth when it reaches this stage; if you want it well done, time the additions so there will still be some liquid left). Continuously stir the rice all the way though the cooking time,

At this point turn off the flame and add a knob of butter and the grated parmesan cheese without stirring it in, cover the risotto, and let it sit, for two to three minutes, just before serving give it a few last stirs this is called mantecato, If you want a creamer risotto, stir in a quarter cup of cooking cream. Something an Italian would never do.

Risotto allo Champagne: Rather wicked, but given the proper occasion…

For 6 servings you’ll need:


2 1/2 (500 g) cups short grained rice, Arborio or Carnaroli would be the best

A half bottle of champagne or other dry sparkling wine, for example Franciacorta or Prosecco

1 lit. simmering beef broth

1/2 cup (100 g) butter

1 medium onion, finely chopped,

1 Cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Salt & Pepper

4 ounces (100 g) black truffles, finely sliced (optional)