A few evenings ago I was preparing the most lovely risotto with porcini mushrooms, roasted asparagus tips and Gruyère cheese. Doesn’t that sound divine? Well, not to my little gal. I could see the scrunched and scowling look on her face as she walked through the kitchen asking me what we were having for dinner.
I realize it might be asking too much of a pre-teen to get excited about porcini mushrooms and roasted asparagus. So, with this in mind, I scooped out a portion of the delicious mushroom and asparagus free risotto and set it aside. I remembered a recipe from a Tuscan book that included several risotto recipes for children. One of the recipes that came to mind was the very simple Risotto Alla Veronese, risotto with ham. My little gal would love this!
Not only did my little gal love it, but my oldest gal thought it was pretty darn good as well. And of course Ranger Craig had to get in on the action and see what all the fuss was about in the kitchen. He also gave a thumbs up to this delicious little risotto. I’d like to think of it as the little risotto that could. Instead of one meal, it gave me two!
I just love happy endings. And this one was certainly a deliciously happy ending. In the words of a friend of mine, Teri, “and no one cried!” Happy Cooking!
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup chopped shallots
2 cups Arborio rice
½ cup dry white wine
6-8 cups vegetable or chicken broth
½ cup grated parmesan
1 cup diced or shredded ham
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large saucepan bring the broth to a simmer. Cover and keep warm over low heat.
Heat the olive oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add the chopped shallots and sauté until just tender, about 4-5 minutes.
Add the rice and stir for about 2 minutes. Add the white wine and stir until absorbed, about 1 minute.
Stir in 1 cup of the warm broth and simmer until it is absorbed, stirring frequently. Cook until the rice is almost tender, adding broth 1/2 cup at a time and stirring often, allowing each addition to be absorbed before adding the next, about 25-30 minutes.
Stir in the fresh grated parmesan and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl and sprinkle with diced or shredded ham. Serve immediately.