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Aged Parmesan Risotto
Aged Parmesan Risotto
Italian
Main
45 mins
Vegetables/vegetarian
Easy
Serves
4

Most risottos require a good fistful of Parmesan to be stirred in before serving, but this recipe by Polpo founder Russell Norman really puts this fabulous cheese centre-stage: "Much has been written about umami, that mysterious fifth flavour which sits alongside the more familiar sweet, sour, bitter and salty. It’s not as easy to define as the famous four, but most of us can identify it when we taste it. It contributes unctuousness, roundness and mouthfeel when it is present and usually makes you want to eat more. Parmesan cheese is one of its best-known exponents, so its ubiquity in Italian cooking is unsurprising; it makes just about everything taste better. What is unusual is to see Parmesan as a main ingredient. This risotto requires really excellent quality aged cheese, so do buy the best you can afford."

This recipe was taken from Venice by Russell Norman, published by Fig Tree.

Recipe courtesy of
Ingredients
  • 1.5 litres chicken stock 
  • 75g butter 
  • 1 large white onion,very finely chopped
  • flaky sea salt
  • 350g carnaroli rice 
  • A small glass of dry vermouth
  • 150g aged Parmesan, excellent quality, finely grated
Method
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Method
  1. Heat the stock in a large pan at the back of the stove and keep it simmering, ladle at the ready. Melt half the butter in a large, heavy-bottomed pan over a medium heat and add the onion with a few pinches of salt. Sauté until glossy and translucent, turning frequently with a wooden spoon, then add the rice. Make sure each grain is coated and the onion and rice are fully incorporated.
  2. Now, pour in the vermouth, enjoy the pungent cloud of boozy steam, and when the liquid has almost all evaporated, add one ladle of stock and stir. Repeat this for 15 minutes, carefully adding the stock a small ladleful at a time, never allowing the rice to fully dry out but not waterlogging it either.
  3. When the rice is almost done, but still has a bit of bite (test a grain between your front teeth), add a final splash of stock, the remaining butter, and turn up the heat. Stir vigorously for 30 seconds and remove from the stove. Add most of the Parmesan, stir once or twice, and cover. Rest for a full minute before serving on warm plates. Scatter over the remaining Parmesan and garnish with a twist of black pepper.

The Pass was created to help the many people now struggling to feed themselves and their families as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. If you like or use this recipe, please consider making a small donation to Hospitality Action to help those whose livelihoods have all but disappeared.

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