Growing up in Italy, specifically in the Lombardy region in the northern part where risotto is king, I had the chance to try may variation of this fantastic dish.
Of course, there are restaurants specialized in risotto, called “Risotteria”, that would serve 30+ risotto made in different ways and minimum for 2 people with a wait of 20 minutes as made fresh on order.
During a visit to a risotteria nearby where I lived, my wife noticed a seasonal risotto with strawberries and took the chance to try it. Best choice ever!
The dish is so simple that it is quiet incredible how the flavours combined can turn out as such a delicate and flavourful dish.
Ingredients for 2 people:
1 cup Arborio or Carnaroli rice
4 cups vegetable stock or water
1 small red onion diced
3/4 of pint to 1 full pint strawberry cleaned and diced
1 cup ruby port wine
4 tbsp butter cold
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp parmesan cheese
salt & pepper to taste
Heat up 1 tbsp of butter with the 1 tbsp of olive oil and sauté the onion till soft, at low heat, for about 5 minutes. Add the rice and toast it for about 6 – 8 minutes till translucent. Pour 1/2 cup of ruby port wine and let evaporate.
Add the water or the vegetable stock little at the time to cook the rice, 12 – 15 minutes total.
In the meantime, in a different pan heat up 2 tbsp of butter and the strawberries, cook for few minutes and add the other 1/2 cup of the ruby port wine; then cook for 5 minute till tender and they are in a nice sauce with some strawberry chunks left.
Few minutes before the rice is done, stir in the strawberry sauce and finish cooking till a bit more of the liquid absorbed.
Turn off the heat and add the remaining 1 tbsp of cold butter and the parmesan cheese.