The very mountainous northern Aosta Valley, Italy's smallest region, is so close to Switzerland that you could squint and believe you're there. Its food is rich in cheese, cabbage and sausage, all the better for making it through biting winters. "Mantecato" in the name of this dish translates as "creamy", a quality that will be abundantly clear once you add the Fontina, the region's best-known contribution to Italian gastronomy.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 40 gm butter, coarsely chopped
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 300 gm vialone nano rice (1½ cups)
- 2 tbsp rosemary, coarsely chopped, plus extra leaves to serve (loosely packed)
- 200 ml dry white wine
- 1.2 litres hot chicken stock
- 120 gm Fontina, coarsely grated
- 50 gm finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- For drizzling: extra-virgin olive oil
- 1Heat oil and half the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat, add onion and stir occasionally until tender (5-7 minutes). Add rice and rosemary and stir occasionally until rice is too hot to touch (1-2 minutes), then add wine and stir until almost evaporated (4-5 minutes). Add stock a ladleful at a time, stirring continuously until all stock is absorbed before adding more, and cook until rice is al dente (18-20 minutes). Stir in cheeses and remaining butter, season to taste, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil, scatter with rosemary and serve hot.
This recipe is from the April 2012 issue of .