My daughter Sarah started making risotto when she was in second grade. She was asked to write down a recipe that she made at home and since she had only been my assistant to that time, she wanted something that was her own to cook. Since she loved eating risotto and we had a stool tall enough to let her sit at the stove and stir it, a small chef was born.
Note: This recipe is adapted from one that was created by the great Judy Rogers and appears in the Zuni Cookbook.
2 T. sweet/unsalted butter (1 ounce or 28 grams)
1 small onion
2 pieces of American style bacon or a small piece of ham or 1-2 slices of prosciutto
2 cups Arborio or Carnaroli rice
1/4 cup white wine (or 60 ml)
4-5 cups of chicken stock (or just over 1 litre)
1/4 -1/2 cup of grated parmigian cheese (preferably parmigiano reggiano)
1. Chop onion into fine dice.
1. If using American bacon, cut into small dice and cook in a deep wide pot (Dutch oven or similar) until fat has rendered and bacon is crisp. Remove bacon pieces and reserve. Add butter to pot to melt. If not using bacon, begin by melting butter in pot.
2. In either case, add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook just until the onion is wilted and translucent.
3. Add the rice and stir until the grains are coated with the fat in the pan.
4. Add the wine and about 2 cups of the chicken stock and bring to a gentle simmer. Stir as needed until the liquid is absorbed.
5. Add another cup of liquid and follow the same process. After this liquid is absorbed check the risotto for salt (even though the rice is still hard) and add salt now if needed.
6. Continue adding liquid 1/2 cup of the stock at a time until the rice is just tender.
7. Add the parmigian, along with the crisp bacon, the ham or the prosciutto (cut into small pieces, if using), and the pepper and serve.
Makes 4-6 servings so you can have risotto cakes the next day.