Risotto in bianco al parmigiano

Risotto in bianco al parmigiano

Modern Italian Food
Earl Carter

Parmigiano Reggiano The ‘king’ of cheese as far as I am concerned, and one with the most application in the kitchen, besides being good eating as is. Grated, shaved or in lumps, this is, for me, the indispensable ingredient, a defining flavour of Italian cuisine. First of all, the name ‘parmesan’ on anything means nothing – it can be very poor quality cheese. Parmigiano Reggiano is a very precise cheese made under very precise rules set out by the producers back in 1934. It can only be made in five specific provinces, outside of which the cheese is not Parmigiano Reggiano. This is a hard cooked cheese that has matured for at least 14 months. Those going to three years are called stravecchio, or very old Parmigiano Reggiano; they display tiny sweet crystals and are best purchased from a big wheel.

Throughout this book I have used Parmigiano Reggiano in just about every recipe. Parmigiano is what soy sauce or ginger are to the Chinese. A risotto al Parmigiano Reggiano is simply a risotto with chicken stock flavoured at the end with a generous amount of Parmigiano Reggiano. This is delicate food for people who feel like a gentle dish, like spaghetti with butter and Parmigiano Reggiano.


Quantity Ingredient
40g butter
40ml olive oil
1 small brown onion, finely diced
200g italian risotto rice
2 litres * golden chicken stock [rid:9937], kept simmering
salt and pepper
parmigiano reggiano
a squeeze lemon juice, (optional)


  1. Heat the butter and oil in a heavy-based pan and cook the onion until soft. Add the rice and toast it by frying it until it has absorbed all the fat.
  2. After a minute or so, begin adding the hot stock, a ladleful at a time, stirring constantly. As the risotto is cooking, be careful to not drown the rice or allow it to become too dry. Cook for 15–20 minutes, or until the rice is cooked, but each grain is still slightly firm in the centre. Season lightly. Remove from the heat and stir in some butter and a generous amount of cheese. The idea is for a good, clean parmesan flavour. Cover for 2 minutes to allow the butter and cheese to be absorbed, then serve. Add a squeeze of lemon juice just before serving if you want to.
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