Another use for that chicken stock, I think risotto really benefits from the homemade kind. At least, that's what I'm banking on, since I used 4 cups of the precious stuff for this recipe from Perla Meyers' The Peasant Kitchen. I love the idea of using her variation on pesto in this dish, especially since there's still so much wonderful, fresh basil to be had. This is the second time I've made risotto, and this particular one is a nice, if somewhat steamy, summer dish to celebrate the end of that season.
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons minced scallion
1 cup raw Arboria rice
3 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup cubed prosciutto
1 garlic clove, passed through a press
2 heapying tablespoons Basil Paste (recipe to follow)
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese.
Melt the butter in a heavy sauce pan (I used a 12" skillet) and cook the scallion for about 2 minutes until it's soft. Add the uncooked rice and stir for about another minute until it is well-coated with butter. Add the first cup of stock, bring the liquid to a boil, and then reduce it to a simmer. Stir constantly until all of the stock has been absorbed by the rice. You're going to keep the rice uncovered through this entire process. Once the first cup of stock has been absorbed, continue to add more stock, one cup at a time, until all of the stock has been absorbed. Make sure most of the liquid is absorbed before adding the next batch of stock. The rice should be done in around 25 minutes, although mine took a bit longer because I don't think I had the liquid quite up to a simmer. The rice should be tender, but still a bit al dente.
Add the cream, prosciutto, salt and pepper and cook for 2-3 more minutes, until the cream is absorbed and the prosciutto is heated.
Add the garlic and basil paste and fold it into the rice. Sprinkle with a bit of Parmesan and serve.
3 - 4 cups tightly packed basil leaves
Fruity olive oil
Place the basil leaves into a food processor and add just enough oil so that as it is ground it forms a smooth paste. Done!