Today’s recipe is a delicious and almost sinful risotto: Stracchino and Speck Risotto. I love cheese and Stracchino is an Italian mild soft cheese that I adore. And I love Italian Speck. If you are not familiar with it, it is a smoked prosciutto from South Tyrol, in the Italian Alps. I use it often in my cooking because I love its smokey flavour and I find it adds an extra kick even to the most basic dishes. I also love risotto, so this recipe has all my favourite ingredients! Do not be intimidated by making risotto. It is really very easy. As long as you follow my instructions, you will be able to make risotto like a pro in no time. I was born in Milan, the world capital of risotto and I learnt how to make it when I was about 6 (with my mum’s supervision)… so it can’t be that hard, can it? Try this version with Stracchino cheese and Italian Speck, I am sure you’ll love it!
Stracchino and Speck Risotto
Stracchino and Speck Risotto - a creamy and cheesy risotto with a smokey flavour and crunchy Italian Speck.
- 320 gms – 11 oz. rice Arborio, Carnaroli or Vialone nano
- ½ onion finely chopped
- 2 thick slices of Italian Speck cut in batons
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 60 ml – ¼ cup white wine
- 1 lt – 4 cups stock chicken or vegetable
- 6 tbsp Grana Padano or Parmigiano Reggiano finely grated
- 180 gms – 6 oz. stracchino cubed
- 30 gms – 2 tbsp butter
- Salt to taste
Fry in extra virgin olive oil 1/3 of the Speck batons until crunchy. Drain it well and put on a plate covered with kitchen paper to drain the excess oil.
Put the stock in a pot and heat it on the fire. The stock has to be hot all the time while you are cooking risotto, so that the rice temperature does not drop when you add it to it.
Put the finely chopped onion and the 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil in a pot and let it cook on a slow fire, until the onion becomes soft and transparent.
Add the rice, mix well and let it cook for 1 or 2 minutes, until it becomes translucent.
Now pour in the white wine and let the alcohol burn off by cooking on a high flame.
Then add enough hot stock to cover the rice and turn the fire to medium-low. Keep cooking, occasionally stirring the rice and adding hot stock little by little, until the rice is cooked. It is going to take approximately 18 to 20 minutes depending on the rice you are using.
When the rice is ready, put the fire off and add the butter, stracchino and grated Parmigiano Reggiano. Mix very well, until the rice becomes creamy.
Make sure that your risotto is moist (or, as we say, all’onda – which literally means wavy) and not sticky. You can do that by adding 1 or 2 extra tbsp of hot stock if needed. Check for salt and season to your liking.
Serve immediately with the crunchy Speck on the top.
Do not wash the rice before cooking it. You want to keep the starch in it, as that is what makes risotto naturally creamy.