This creamy, herb-laden risotto is finished with a sweet-and sour-Italian condiment called agrodolce, which could be your new pantry essential. The sour (agro) comes from vinegar and the sweet (dolce) from sugar or honey, and is sometimes also flavoured with herbs, spices and fruit.
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
- 120 g golden French shallots, very finely chopped
- sea salt flakes, to season
- 200 g carnaroli rice
- 60 ml (¼ cup) dry white wine
- 1 litre boiling water, approximately
- salt and ground white pepper, to taste
- 60 g grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 60 g grated Pecorino Romano
- 60 ml (¼ cup) white wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp quality honey
- small handful chervil, roughly torn
- ¼ bunch chives, roughly chopped
- 2 sprigs tarragon, leaves picked and roughly torn
- 2 sprigs parsley, leaves picked and roughly torn
- 2 sprigs mint, leaves picked and roughly torn
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
- Heat the oil in a heavy based saucepan. Add the shallot and a pinch of salt and stir over low heat until translucent but not coloured.
- Place the rice in a separate frying pan and stir over medium heat for 2 – 3 minutes or until lightly toasted but not coloured. Add the rice to the softened shallots and stir well until you can feel the ingredients sticking a little. Add the wine and simmer for 1 minute or until the wine has completely evaporated.
- Start adding the boiling water, one small ladle at a time and use a wooden spoon to move the rice around a little as it soaks up the water. At the halfway point, season lightly with salt and white pepper. Continue adding water and stirring until the rice is two – thirds cooked and a little dry. Turn off the heat, then stir in the grated cheeses and place a kitchen cloth on top. Rest for 4 minutes. While the risotto is resting, combine the vinegar and honey (the agrodolce).
- Place the risotto over low – medium heat, add the agrodolce to taste, stir in the herbs and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Serve immediately, drizzled with a little remaining agrodolce and a little olive oil.
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