“This is one of my favourite risottos – I’ve been making it for many years. The ham, rosemary and Fontina flavours are beautiful in their simplicity. My slightly unusual risotto technique was taught to me by Gabriel Ferron (of Ferron rice), from one of the oldest families in Verona. He taught me not to stir the rice until the very end then to beat it vigorously with the Fontina cheese and olive oil to produce a lovely creamy texture.” Rita Macali, Supermaxi, Fitzroy North, Vic
- 90 ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
- 1½ onions, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 200 gm ham off the bone, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp finely chopped rosemary
- 500 gm vialone nano rice (see note)
- 1.5 litres hot chicken stock (6 cups)
- 100 gm Fontina, diced
- 50 gm parmesan, finely grated
- 1 cup flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped (loosely packed)
- 1Heat half the oil in a frying pan over medium heat, add onion and garlic, stir occasionally until translucent (5-7 minutes), add ham and rosemary, cook until tender (3-5 minutes), then set aside.
- 2Heat remaining oil in a saucepan over medium heat, add rice and stir until rice is too hot to touch, but not coloured (2-4 minutes). Bring stock to the boil, pour over rice, season to taste, stir to combine, cover, reduce heat to low and cook, without stirring (adding a little extra stock if necessary), until rice is al dente (15-20 minutes).
- 3Add Fontina, parmesan and ham mixture, stir well until cheese melts and mixture is creamy (1-2 minutes). Season to taste, stir through parsley and serve hot, drizzled with olive oil.
Vialone nano is a white short-grain rice with a high starch content. It’s available from Italian delicatessens, Simon Johnson and The Essential Ingredient. If unavailable, substitute another risotto rice. The cooking time and amount of stock required may vary.
This recipe is from the May 2011 issue of