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Eggplant and Smoked Scamorza Risotto

Eggplant and Smoked Scamorza Risotto

Eggplant and Smoked Scamorza Risotto - deliciously creamy and cheesey but also fresh and perfect for spring.

Course Main
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4
Author Manuela Zangara

Ingredients

Eggplant Sauce

  • 1 eggplant cubed into 1 ½ cm - ½ inch cubes
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 8 tbsp tomato purée
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • Salt & Pepper

Risotto

  • 320 gms – 11 oz. rice Arborio, Carnaroli or Vialone nano
  • ½ onion finely chopped
  • 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. smoked scamorza cheese cubed
  • 30 gms – 2 tbsp butter
  • Basil leaves not in the picture
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

Eggplant Sauce

  1. Sauté the garlic clove in a pan with the extra virgin olive oil.
  2. Add the cubed eggplant and fry it off for 2 or 3 minutes.
  3. Add the tomato purée, oregano and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, then put the fire off and let it cool down completely. Keep aside.

Risotto

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Add the rice, mix well and let it cook for 1 or 2 minutes, until it becomes translucent.
  4. Now pour in the white wine and let the alcohol burn off by cooking on a high flame.
  5. 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.
  6. After the first 15 minutes, add the eggplant sauce and keep cooking the rice.
  7. When the rice is ready, put the fire off and add the butter, basil leaves, cubed smoked scamorza and grated Parmigiano Reggiano. Mix very well, until the rice becomes creamy.
  8. 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.
  9. Serve immediately with some basil leaves on the top.

Recipe Notes

Do not wash the rice before cooking it. You want to keep the starch in it, as that is what makes risotto naturally creamy.