Apples are fast coming into season, with numerous varietals already available. This recipe hails from the northern Trentino-Alto Adige region, where apple orchards stretch for miles and the fruit harvest is hailed at festivals in villages and towns.
Risotto alle Mele
This recipe for Apple Risotto can be served as a side dish to accompany roast pork, or add speck and it becomes a meal on its own.
- small saucepan
- medium saucepan
- heavy based pot
- 1 3/4 cups Arborio or Carnaroli rice
- 3 apples (Fuji work well - peeled, cored, cut into shavings / thin slices)
- 1 lemon (juiced)
- 1 small onion (peeled and chopped)
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 4 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1-litre stock - vegetable (kept at a simmer in a small saucepan)
- 4 tablespoons Parmigiano Reggiano (freshly grated)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup speck cut into small squares and sautéed until cooked (optional)
The apple mixture
Heat a tablespoon of butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.
Once the butter is melted, add the onion.
Saute the onion, stirring until it becomes translucent.
Add the shaved apples, add the lemon juice to coat the apple and prevent oxidisation. Stir to combine the ingredients.
Take off the heat and set the saucepan aside.
Heat a tablespoon of butter and 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a large, wide pan on medium heat. The combination of oil and butter will ensure that the butter doesn't burn.
When the butter in the oil begins to bubble, add the rice, and cook, stirring gently to coat the grains until the grains become translucent.
Add the wine. Stir gently until the wine has evaporated.
Add the apple mixture, together with the first ladle of broth.
Stir the rice gently, and continuously. When the ladle of broth has been absorbed, add another.
Continue to stir the rice gently, continuously, adding ladle after ladle of broth until the rice reaches an al dente state.
Turn off the heat. Add the remaining butter, and stir gently.
Cover the pot for two minutes.
Serve with grated Parmigiano Reggiano, as an accompaniment to roast pork. Or, add speck and serve as the main course.
For a delicious starter, see the recipe for pumpkin and barley soup