Risotto Milanese with Chardonnay
- 1 Onion, finely chopped
- 2 cups Arborio Rice-it's worth it to get the short-grained Arborio
- 1/2 tsp Saffron threads
- 1 1/2 cups Fortunati Chardonnay
- 3 1/2 cups Chicken stock-kept hot
- 1 tbsp Italian Parsley, chopped
- 2 tbsps Butter
- 3/4 cup Parmigiana-Reggiano, freshly grated
Over a medium heat, coat the large saucepan with olive oil, add salt and the finely chopped onion. Cook until translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high and add Arborio rice, stir briskly ensuring the grains are coated with oil. Saute for 3-4 minutes, as the rice sticks to the pan, scrape it off. It will sound crackly and start to give off a slightly nutty aroma. The rice shouldn't become brown or toasted.
Add the saffron to the hot chicken stock, which will turn a bright yellow.
To brighten the overall flavors of this dish and soften the kernels of rice, add the Fortunati Chardonnay to the rice and season with salt, stirring constantly until it's fully absorbed. Add about 1/3 of the saffron chicken stock until it completely covers the rice and also stir constantly until it, too, is fully absorbed. Repeat this process two more times, adding the hot chicken stock, stirring constantly to prevent sticking. We have found that we enjoy the stirring much more when we drink some wine during this process! When the third addition of stock is absorbed and the rice is very creamy, taste a few grains to be sure it's fully cooked. Arborio rice will take on a creamy consistency as it begins to release its natural starches. When al dente, it's done-grains are tender, yet firm to the bite, without being crunchy or mushy.
Stir in butter and freshly grated cheese. Add a pinch of freshly chopped Italian parsley, if desired. Serve immediately (it becomes sticky if sitting too long) and contemplate how you, too, are now part of an ancient and classic Italian tradition!