Venetians—and Venetian Jews in particular—are world famous for their creamy risottos. I can make over a hundred varieties of this dish, which is my ultimate comfort food. This unusual combination of tart and creamy will be a very pleasant surprise, and full-fat ricotta is naturally very low in fat (go figure! 5% versus 90% in cream cheese), so go ahead—get seconds! You can serve this risotto Italian-style: as an appetizer to any fish dish, or as a main course with a green salad and a side of vegetables.
- 6 cup vegetable broth
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 shallots or 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 3 cup Italian rice (Vialone Nano, Arborio, or Carnaroli)
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 1 cup ricotta (not fat-free)
- Juice of ½ lemon
- Grated zest of 3 organic lemons
- kosher salt
- Fresh mint leaves for garnish
In a large saucepan, bring broth to a boil over high heat. Heat oil in a heavy pot over medium heat. Add shallots and 2 tablespoons water; cook until soft. Add rice and cook, stirring constantly, until water is absorbed, about 3 minutes. Add wine and cook, still stirring constantly,
until rice has absorbed wine, about 1 minute. Add boiling broth to rice gradually, one or two ladlesful at a time. Cook, stirring constantly, making sure the broth is absorbed before each addition, until rice is creamy yet al dente, usually about 15 to 18 minutes. Stir in ricotta, lemon, and grated lemon zest. Season to taste with salt. Turn off the heat and cover the pot. Serve decorated with fresh mint leaves.
GOES WITH: Green and Yellow Sauté.