Risotto Caccio e Peppe. Eat your heart out Massimo Bottura

Creamy, smooth, guilty, sharp and peppery all at once. A triumph.

So you might’ve gathered from the number of risotto recipes here that I’m a bit fond of the dish… and while it’s difficult not to really enjoy a well made risotto, this one here was a particularly enjoyable experience. It was everything that one would expect of a classic Roman Caccio e Peppe pasta i.e. cheesy, decadent, funky and simple but with the added wholesomeness you get with a risotto owing to the addition of amazing golden home-made chicken stock. I can’t stress enough on the importance of a good stock to the final outcome of a risotto, and no more so than here.

Serves 4 as a primo piatto

2 cups of arborio or carnaroli rice

1.2ish liters of hot great quality chicken stock

2 cups of freshly grated Parmesan Cheese

1 cup of dry white wine

1 medium onion very finely chopped

1 tbsp of butter

1 lug of olive oil

1.5 tbsp of black pepper corns roughly processed in a spice mill

2 tbsp of sour cream

Chopped parsley and extra virgin olive oil to garnish

On a medium-high heat, melt the butter with the olive oil, once hot, add the onion and saute for a couple of minuted until the onions soften. Then add the rice and toast for about another 3-4 minutes, stirring about to make sure nothing burns. Add the white wine and reduce until it’s almost all evaporated (another 3-5mins), then start adding the broth or stock using a ladle. The first addition ladle in roughly a cup’s worth of broth, and of course, stir the risotto as it cooks almost constantly (this basically lets the starch leech out of the rice grains, giving the risotto that creaminess). As the broth gets absorbed, continue adding more and more broth by the ladle and stirring. At about 15ish minutes from the first addition of stock, test a spoonful of the rice for doneness, it needs to be cooked yet still with a bit of bite to it. If it has reach that state, turn off the heat, stir in the cheese, the sour cream, the pepper and season with salt if necessary. Always good to remember, take your risotto off the heat when it looks a bit runnier than you think it should. As you plate, garnish and serve almost all the excess liquid will be absorbed into the rice. Now all that’s left is to tuck-in and enjoy!


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