On paper, risotto is one of the simplest store cupboard recipes; yet it’s also one of the easiest to get wrong.
In collaboration with the Prosecco DOC Consortium, Danilo Cortellini, Head Chef at the Italian Embassy in London, has shared a simple, fool-proof recipe which uses the mantecatura method to make the risotto creamier. While the dish has endless possibilities, as far as supplementary ingredients are concerned, here Danillo Cortellini favours seasonally-appropriate asparagus, joined by Carnaroli rice and Prosecco DOC extra dry.
Green asparagus, 20g
Onion, 80g, finely chopped
Extra virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons
Carnaroli rice, 280g
Prosecco DOC, 200ml
Vegetable or chicken stock, 1 litre
Grana Padano, 40g, grated
Salt and pepper, to taste
Pea shoots, to garnish (if available)
Cut the ends of the asparagus stalks. Peel with a vegetable peeler and boil in salted water for one minute. Allow to cool in cold water to preserve their green colour.
Slice the rest of the asparagus and keep to one side for the risotto. Boil all the peeled asparagus with a glass of water. Keep this asparagus stock to flavour your risotto.
Fry the finely chopped onion for 10 – 15 minutes in a small pan with a little extra virgin olive oil and some salt. Set to one side when golden.
Take a large pan, and start by heating the rice on a low temperature, adding oil and salt. When the rice is hot add the Prosecco DOC. Allow the alcohol to evaporate for 15 minutes and cover with a lid. Stir the rice occasionally and continue to cook.
Halfway through cooking, add the onion and the asparagus stock to the rice. When the rice is nearly cooked, add the sliced asparagus.
Now it’s time for the Grana Padano and the butter, add to the pan with the rice and stir briskly and energetically to bind the ingredients together, adding air to the mixture and giving it that desirable creaminess – this brisk stirring is known as mantecatura.
To finish, don’t forget the Prosecco DOC to keep your risotto creamy.