Sunday, October 5, 2008

Champagne Risotto

Cook Time: 35 min
Level: Intermediate
Yield: 2 servings


* 4 thin slices prosciutto
* 3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
* 12 asparagus spears, cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces
* 2 tablespoons butter, divided
* 1 shallot, finely chopped
* 3/4 cup Arborio rice or medium-grain white rice
* 3/4 cup Champagne
* 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Place the slices of prosciutto on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake
until the prosciutto slices are almost completely crisp, about 6 to 8
minutes. The slices will crisp up even more as they cool. Reserve for

In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a boil. Reduce heat
to a simmer. Blanch the asparagus in the chicken stock for 2 minutes.
Remove the asparagus with a slotted spoon. Set the asparagus aside and
keep the chicken stock at a low simmer.

In another medium saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add the
shallot and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the Arborio rice
and stir to coat in the butter. Continue toasting the rice, stirring
constantly, for about 3 minutes more. Add the Champagne and simmer
until the liquid has almost evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup
of the simmering broth and stir until almost completely absorbed,
about 2 minutes. Continue cooking the rice, adding the broth 1/2 cup
at a time, stirring constantly and allowing each addition of broth to
absorb before adding the next, until the rice is tender but still firm
to the bite and the mixture is creamy, about 20 minutes total. Remove
from the heat. Gently stir in the asparagus, remaining butter,
Parmesan, salt, and pepper. Spoon the risotto into serving dishes and
garnish by breaking the crisp prosciutto into smaller pieces over the
top of the risotto. Serve immediately.


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