The Secret to Perfect Risotto
Scott Conant is known for his stints on shows like Food Network's Chopped, but he is renowned for his pasta. If you've ever been to one of his restaurants you know that he has a seemingly magic touch.
So we wanted to get his take on one of the hardest dishes around: risotto. Making those little grains of rice transform into the silky smooth final dish takes a lot of attention and faith. We sat down with Conant at his new restaurant, Fusco, to get all of his advice and a recipe.
Black Truffle Risotto With Egg & Parmigiano
Serves 4 to 6
3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil (enough to coat the pan)
3/4 cup shallots, small dice
2 tablespoons. garlic, small dice
6 tbsp. butter, unsalted
Crushed red pepper flakes, as needed
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
Kosher salt, as needed
1 pound vialone nana rice
1 cup dry white wine, approximately
7-9 cups chicken stock (as needed)
1 cup grated parmigiano reggiano cheese
Preserved black truffles (from Jaloon Specialty Foods), as needed
Fresh truffles for shaving, as needed
In a 4-quart saucepan, heat about 3 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium-heat. Add the shallot, garlic and 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the crushed red pepper, the thyme, and a pinch kosher salt and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute (Take the pan off the heat if the garlic starts to brown). Lower the heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallot is very tender, 5 minutes.
Add the rice, and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes to toast it lightly. Increase the heat to medium, add the wine (just enough to cover the bottom of the pot) and cook until most of the wine is gone. Add 1 cup of the chicken stock and cook, stirring, until the liquid has been absorbed and evaporated. Add another 1 cup of stock and increase the heat so that there are a fair amount of bubbles on the surface (this agitation helps release the starch as the rice cooks).
Add more of the stock and continue to cook, stirring, adding more stock as needed and stirring. To see if it’s time to add more liquid, drag the spoon through the rice; if the liquid doesn’t immediately fill in the space, it’s time to add more. Continue cooking, adding broth as necessary, until the risotto looks creamy but the rice is still al dente, about 18 minutes.
Take the risotto off the heat. Add the remaining butter, the cheese and the truffles and stir well.
Divide risotto among plates, top with freshly shaved truffles, serve.