Piedmont is a culinary paradise, full of fresh ingredients and unique flavors… so why not put them all in one, big risotto for an authentic New Year’s Eve celebration?
Here’s a traditional recipe that will leave you and yours happy, well-fed, and ready to dance the night away.
Maratelli Grain Four-Cheese Risotto with Hazelnuts
Hazelnuts are a specialty in Roero, so it makes sense to add them to this creamy risotto for a special treat! Toasting them adds an extra crunch.
Ingredients (3 hearty servings)
- 250 gr Maratelli rice (or other like rice such as: Arborio, Originario, Vialone Nano)
- 1 large golden onion, chopped fine
- Extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup white wine or more if needed
- 35 gr Fontina cheese, grated (a semi-soft cow’s milk cheese from Aosta Valley; can be substituted with gruyere, mild provolone, or gouda)
- 70 gr mild Gorgonzola or Gorgonzola dolce
- 25 gr aged Gorgonzola or Gorgonzola piccante, crumbled
- Vegetable broth, as needed (hot is best)
- Toasted, chopped hazelnuts to top the risotto
- Parmigiano to taste when served
1) In a wide saucepan, add two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Add the chopped onion and sauté until golden brown (about ten minutes) stirring occasionally. While it’s cooking, assemble the other ingredients.
2) Once the onion is cooked, toss in the rice and coat with oil. Stir 2-3 minutes, just until the rice is toasted (note: there may be popping noises.) Add in the white wine and let it reduce (about 2 minutes.) Once it starts to boil cook according to the rice’s ordinary cooking time.
3) Add the vegetable broth, a few ladles at a time, making sure it just covers the rice. If the broth is cold, add additional minutes to the cooking time. After each ladle of broth, wait until the rice absorbs it before adding more. The bottom of the pan will be visible as its stirred.
4) Test the rice in the last several minutes to ensure it is done. Once it’s done, add the Fontina, stirring until it melts. Add the aged Gorgonzola in the last minute or so. Check to ensure it’s cooked. (Note: the rice will be looser than an average risotto due to all the cheese.) When it is done cooking, add the mild, creamy Gorgonzola (which thickens it slightly).
5) Allow to cool for several minutes before serving. Top with grated parmesan and a sprinkling of toasted hazelnuts. Buon appetito!
6) Serve with a Roero Arneis Spumante!