Risotto is an extremely versatile dish that can be prepared in many ways. Risotto originated in Milan where the tradition of slow cooking was used in preparing rice. Risotto alla Milanese was created by using short grained rice slowly cooked with broth and saffron. The bright yellow color of this dish is absolutely gorgeous and is a staple in the cuisine of Milan. Risotto can also be made with mushrooms, seafood or other types of vegetables. I like to make risotto with prosciutto and parmesan cheese. It is a simple preparation that I serve for dinner and then use the leftovers to make Arancini. Arancini can be served as an hors d’oeuvres or an appetizer. Arancini taste great with my recipe for quick tomato sauce.
Tips on Making Great Risotto
The key to great risotto is to not leave the stove. It is important to constantly and slowly stir the broth into the rice. Risotto needs to be prepared right before serving and will be ready in 20 minutes. Risotto prepared ahead of time tends to be gummy and does not have the correct consistency. The rice needs to be sautéed for a few minutes before adding wine and allowing the wine to absorb into the rice. This preps the rice for the broth and will result in tasty risotto with the correct tenderness.
Can I make this Vegetarian
Yes, you can replace the prosciutto with mushrooms and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. If you do use mushrooms you should remove them from the pan after sautéed and stir them back into the risotto after it is cooked. If you leave the mushrooms in for the entire cooking time they will break down and become too mushy.
Another idea is to leave out the prosciutto and stir in green peas at the end. Use your imagination to experiment with new variations just be sure to use the recipe as a base. I would love to see what you come up with. Tag me on instagram or use the #itsjennsview or email me your beautiful creations.
Prosciutto and Parmesan Risotto
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 oz prosciutto chopped about 2 thin slices
- 1 tbsp minced shallot
- 1 cup arborio rice
- ¼ cup white wine
- 4 cups chicken broth
- ¼ cup parmesan reggiano cheese grated
- ⅛ tsp ground black pepper
- pinch saffron
- 1 tbsp salted butter
- chopped Italian Parsley for garnish optional
- heat chicken broth in a sauce pan and place on side
- Place a frying pan over medium high heat and add olive oil
- add shallot and saute until translucent. Do not brown
- use a wooden spoon to stir in prosciutto and rice
- add white wine and allow it to absorb into the rice
- stir in saffron and pepper
- add a cup of warm chicken broth and stir contantly with wooden spoon until absorbed
- continue to add broth until rice is creamy and al dente. If rice is not creamy enough add some hot water
- stir in butter and half of the grated parmesan
- divide onto 4 plates and garnish with remaining parmesan and parsley
Italian rice balls made out of prosciutto and parmesan risotto
This is a great idea for an appetizer or hors d’oeuvres. I stuff each ball with a little fresh mozzarella so the cheese melts in the center. The best part is that they can be prepared ahead of time up to the point of frying. Truthfully, you can even fry them ahead of time and warm them in the oven before serving but they won’t be quite as crisp and delicious as frying them right before serving. The good news is that they are so delicious so even when reheated they taste amazing. If you are serving the arancini as an hors d’oeuvre make the balls the size of a melon ball so guests can eat it in one or two bites. Serve the arancini with my quick tomato sauce recipe
Please note that I recommend using packaged bread crumbs like Progresso for this recipe. The texture of the bread crumbs will create a thin crisp crust around the Arancini and works much better than fresh bread crumbs.
Prosciutto and Parmesan Arancini
- 2½ cups Prosciutto and Parmesan Risotto cooled to room temperature recipe on Jenn's View
- 3 oz fresh mozzarella cut into small cubes
- 2 eggs beaten
- 1 cup AP flour for coating
- 1½ cups bread crumbs store bought is best for this
- vegetable oil for frying
- grated parmesan reggiano for garnish
- chopped basil for garnish
- form risotto into individual balls
- press a cube of mozzarella in center of each ball and seal hole with risotto
- roll each risotto ball in flour then egg and then breadcrumbs.
- heat 2 inches of vegtable oil in a deep pan
- fry arancini in batches until golden brown
- place on a paper towel to remove excess oil
- sprinkle with grated parmesan and chopped italian parsley to garnish
- serve with tomato sauce