Home Cooking 271

Absolute Best Risotto You Will EVER Eat: Toasted Pistachio Gorgonzola Dolce

Joe H. | Apr 9, 2002 03:53 PM

Immodestly this is the best risotto that I have ever eaten. I have had risotto at Al Soriso and Dal Pescatore (Michelin three stars), Battebecco and Bitone (one stars in Bologna), da Fiore (one star in Venezia) as well as at least a half dozen more starred restaurants in Italy. I also won a major cooking contest with it several years ago.

I post this because of an earlier discussion about "pressure cooker" risotto and the current risotto discussion. For those on this board who are into cooking make this EXACTLY the way I describe. Don't make it if you CHANGE ANYTHING. This is expensive and somewhat time consuming but it will be the most intensely flavorful dish of its kind that you will ever eat. Again, make absolutely certain that you use EXACTLY the ingredients that I describe. As much as anything this is a technique dish but when you get it down you will absolutely WOW your friends or customers.


From Joe Heflin

1 pound vialone nano arborio rice (carneroli is
acceptible as substitution)
1/4 cup olive oil (as good as you can find, i.e. Badia
Coltibuono, Castello di Ama, etc.)
one sweet onion (Vidalia, Texas Sweet, etc.) finely
chopped to equal one cup
1 1/2 cups chardonnay (I use Beringer or a wine at
least equal to this-NOT a cheap wine.)
2 cups chicken stock (REAL chicken stock, not from a
can or a cube)(frozen chicken stock that sells for
$3.99 for 8 ozs. is OK) Use WARM chicken stock
that you keep heated in a separate pot over
low heat.
7/8 pound Gorgonzola DOLCE (NOTE: You MUST use the
dolce, no other gorgonzola will do. Don't make
this if you can't find it!!!) The gorgonzola
should be broken up into pieces or one to two
inch soft chunks that have sat at room temperature
for an hour or more.
1/2 pound unsalted butter (Pleugra, Kate's, European,
absolute best you can find.) I slice the butter one
inch thick and let the slices sit at room tempera-
ture for at least an hour.
1/2 cup toasted (in oven for 3-4 minutes at 325 degrees)
pistachios, chopped that you have shelled yourself.
Use everything, chopped nut and "dust" but remember
you want these for crunch as well as flavor. I
might even use a bit more than this. Use unsalted
10 ozs. Reggiano Parmegiano grated which will equal
about three cups in volume. Grate this
yourself from the best and most moist brick you can
I use an All Clad 3 1/2 quart pan and a wooden spoon with a flat side for stirring. In the sauce pan over medium to medium high heat (6 to 7 on a scale of 10) heat olive oil. Add onions until they sweat (several minutes). Add rice and toast stirring constantly as it cooks for two minutes or so. Add wine and cook until completely reduced stirring frequently. When the wine has completely disappeared start adding stock one ladle at a time (about 2/3 cup) and cook stirring constantly until the rice absorbs the stock. Repeat until all of the stock is absorbed. After 8 or 9 minutes of this add the gorgonzola dolce. Continue to stir the cheese into the mixture for another four minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the butter, toasted pistachios and reggiano. Gently stir all together thororughly.

Serve by itself in a large white plate or pasta bowl.
This is extremely filling and very intensely flavored. The above recipe will serve at least eight because of this. Again do NOT make this if you cannot find EXACTLY the ingredients called for.

This is risotto as an art.

Please post on here your results if you make it EXACTLY as I state. I am sorry to be so overbearing but I have friends who try to take shortcuts and they don't understand why "mountain" gorgonzola doesn't have the sweetness or even the creamy texture of dolce or grana tastes different than reggiano. All arborio rice is not the same. If you take the time and trouble this is a dish that could be served at a three Michelin starred restaurant.

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