I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to share a recipe for risotto. I’m in L-O-V-E with the stuff.
I also can’t believe we’re more than halfway through January already! What is happening!?! Time is FAH-LYING by these days. I don’t like it. Not one bit. I mean, I am not the biggest fan of January, generally speaking. As I’ve mentioned in past posts, it’s just a dreary, dull month full of post-holiday gloom. So I’m happy that it isn’t dragging on…but jeez! I can’t believe Christmas was already 3.5 weeks ago! What the what!
I can blame this mostly on work. It has been a whirlwind lately, which is wonderful in some ways and a curse in others. The workweeks have been flying by, which is great, but before I can catch my breath – it’s Friday again! I know, I know. Who complains about it being Friday?! I guess I just feel like time is going too fast, and I don’t have time to process it. It’s overwhelming. At least this weekend is a three-day one for me. Maybe that will help.
Anyway. Back to the risotto…
It’s perfect for when you need some rejuvenation (or soothing because you are getting old and time is going by too fast. Ahem). Risotto is one of my most favorite things to eat and make. It’s a default for me when I get in a cooking rut. It’s warm, creamy, and comforting and can be customized to your tastes/desires in countless ways. Plus, people tend to think it’s impressive…but…shh…it’s actually pretty easy to make! It takes some patience (not one of my strong suits), but the technique is pretty straightforward. And the result is totally delectable.
This rendition has the sweetness of pears, the saltiness of prosciutto, and the warmth of sage. It’s incredibly complex in flavor…but simple at the same time. These flavors just GO together. The key to making great risotto is to keep it simple. Pick ingredients that pair together nicely. And put on your Patience Pants. Seriously. Mine always seem to be dirty in the hamper….or just flat-out missing. But they are a requirement when making risotto. Sigh.
Start by sautéing onion/garlic/shallot/etc. in butter. Add your rice (short-grain rice is best) and allow it to toast for a bit. Add some wine. And then slowly (SLOOOOOOWWWWLLLYYYY) add WARM chicken or veggie broth to the pot. Let it incorporate and then add more. Keep going until the rice is soft and the mixture is thickened and creamy. Grate in some cheese, throw in whatever else your heart desires, and voilà! You’ve got risotto.
See? It’s not that complicated. Just takes some time. Hence the Patience Pants.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go reheat a bowl of this for breakfast. Yes. Breakfast…followed by a full day of medical editing. At least it’s Friday. Again.
Pear Risotto with Crispy Prosciutto & Fried Sage (makes 4 servings)
6 slices of prosciutto
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
6-8 large sage leaves
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1-2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage
1 cup Arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
2 pears, peeled and finely diced
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth, warmed
1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
Grated parmesan cheese (I used about 1 cup)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Lay the slices of prosciutto flat on the sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the prosciutto is beginning to crisp. Remove from oven. The prosciutto will continue to crisp as it cools. Break up the crispy prosciutto with your hands and reserve.
2. Meanwhile, heat the oil and butter together in a pot or deep-sided skillet over medium heat. Add the whole sages leaves and cook until fragrant and crisp, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from pot and reserve.
3. To the same pot, add the onion and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until soft and translucent. Add the garlic, chopped sage, and rice. Stir to coat the rice in the oil and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the wine and cook until mostly absorbed. Add in the pears and sugar. It’s also a good time to add a hefty pinch each of salt and pepper.
4. Add ⅓ cup of the warm broth and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Stirring frequently, cook the rice mixture, gradually adding the broth in ⅓-cup increments until all the broth has been absorbed. The risotto is ready when the grains of rice have puffed and softened and most of the liquid has been incorporated. The entire process will take roughly 20-25 minutes.
5. During the last few minutes of cooking, stir in the parmesan cheese. Serve the risotto garnished with the fried whole sage leaves and crumbled crispy prosciutto.
Adapted from here.