Rice is the most widely consumed staple food in the world, coming in different varieties with different characteristics that enhance the dish you are preparing. With this recipe, we travel to Italy, where rice is used to make risotto dishes. While risotto may not boast the same fame as pasta and pizza, it exemplifies the best of Italian cooking. Good risotto will always need a good grain of superfine or fine Italian rice such as carnaroli, valione nano, arborio, baldo, or roma.
White wine and a quality broth are necessary and allow the rice to absorb flavor and moisture. Homemade broth is the best, but if you are in a hurry, choose a high-quality vegetable broth with all natural ingredients to complement the fresh ingredients used in this risotto. Adding Parmigiano Reggiano and butter at the end of cooking process gives the risotto a complex taste.
Parmigiano Reggiano is a quality cheese that is rich in calcium. In fact, it is the first cheese that is given to babies by pediatricians in Italy.
Yields: 6 servings | Serving Size: 3/4 cup | Calories: 466 | Total Fat: 11 g | Saturated Fat: 4 g | Trans Fat: 0 g | Cholesterol: 14 mg | Sodium: 220 mg | Carbohydrates: 75 g | Dietary Fiber: 5 g | Sugars: 4 g | Protein: 13 g | SmartPoints (Freestyle): 15
- 1-1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 stalk leek, sliced to rings
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 2 cups rice for risotto (Vialone Nano, Carnaroli, Arborio or Roma)
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 2 bulbs fennel, coarsely chopped
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup Parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiano)
- Over medium heat, in a semi-tall saucepan with extra virgin olive oil, sautè the leeks for 3 minutes then add the fennel seeds.
- Add the rice and toast for 3 minutes, moving constantly to avoid burning.
- Pour the wine and let it evaporate by half, about 2 - 3 minutes.
- Add the fennel, then pour the broth little by little as you cook. The rice should have enough liquid to absorb but not too much or little because it might dry up.
- Cook for about 17 -19 minutes, moving constantly so it doesn't stick to the saucepan.
- When the rice is cooked through and has a creamy consistency, turn off the fire then add the butter and the Parmesan. You can avoid the butter but it gives a rounder taste to the dish.
- Serve immediately.
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