I can’t help myself everytime I see fresh leeks to think about this risotto. It is my favorite. It has that sweet and delicate taste of the leaks in contrast with the incredible and strong dominance of talegggio, a cheese originally from Val Taleggio near Milan. As the risotto may be too cheesy and intense, to elevate the swettness of the leaks, we add a touch of grated nutmeg, which will give an exotic and delicate flavor to the risotto! As for any respectable risotto, la mantecatura is the final sign of care and love for this dish. It can be done with extra virgin olive oil (for the healthiest) or with butter. Turn off the flame, and start swirling your risotto until you see that beatiful creamy look. This dish is ideal for a quick and substantial dinner, or to entairtain lots of friends. Keep in mind that you can substitute the taleggio with any cheese you prefer to transform this risotto unique to your personal taste!
For the broth
- Green tops of the leeks
- Water enough to cover the green parts
- j.e. salt
For the risotto
- 2 leaks
- 1 cup of arborio rice (or carnaroli rice… our favorite!)
- 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
- 25g taleggio cheese
- 1 cup of white wine
- j.e. grated nutmeg
- Parmiggiano Reggiano
For the mantecatura
- a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
- 10g butter
1. Cut the fresh leeks into thin disks starting from the whitest end of the vegetable until it slowly becomes green. Do not throw anything that remains of the leaks away (green part and leaves)- you will use it for the broth! Get your knife and dice the thin disks into smaller cubes.
2. Start your broth. Trow your thick leaves as well as the green ends of the leeks in a small sauce pan. Add enough water to cover the vetagebles. Add some salt and cover it. When the water starts boiling, reduce the flame and keep the cover on so the borth does not evaporate quickly and the flavors get enriched.
3. Now, get your sauce pot (it can also be a fry pan or wok) and add the extra virgin olive oil as well as the leeks already chopped. Occasionally swirl it, but let it stir fry until the leaks start becoming golden and you can smell the soffritto!
4. As the leeks become golden in the e.v. olive oil, add the arborio rice and start to “toast” it by continuing swirling it (for 2/3 minutes) and being careful not to burn it.
5. Add the white wine, keep mixing and allow the alcohol to evaporate (2/3 minutes)
6. As the alcohol has evaporated, start adding the broth (keep always the broth on the flame and boiling). As you do that, keep mixing the rice and do not allow it to dry but continue adding the broth. You will be doing this for about 12 miutes.
7. In the last 5 minutes or so, add the grated nutmeg. Now it’s your turn, chef! Get a spoon and try a few grains; add more nutmeg if you would like to.
8. After 2/3 minutes that you have been swirling as you added the nutmeg, add the taleggio cheese; conitnue mixing as well as adding broth if the risotto gets dry.
9. As the cheese has been completely incorporated in the rice, try a few grains one more time; if the rice is cooked (not too hard, but not too soft – it will still cook as you do the matacatura) get it out of the flame and add either extra virgin olive oil or butter and swirl.
10. It is now time to serve your delicious risotto. Once plated, tap the bottom of the plate a few times so to spread evenly the creamy rice. Lastly, grate some Parmiggiano Reggiano on top. Enjoy!!