Fancy a tasty and easy-to-prepare dish to impress your friends and family? Black truffle risotto is a delicacy that will make you look like a star chef, if you know how to make it. Of course, not everyone has the right tools and the best ingredients at their disposition, but with a little bit of ingenuity and experience, you can whip up a fabulous risotto that highlights the truffle you have on hand.
How to prepare black truffle risotto
Ingredients for 4-5 people
- rice: 450 g
- shallots: 1-2
- extra virgin olive oil: 3 tablespoons
- butter: a knob, about 40 g
- grated Parmesan cheese: 3 tablespoons
- broth: 1 litre
- white wine: 1 glass
- salt and pepper: to taste
- black truffle: 1 medium-sized one, about 20 g
Let's get straight to the point, « risotto does not prepare itself », my grandmother would say. And it is precisely by following her suggestions that I recommend this recipe. It always works: in a moment of indecision, I think of what my grandmother would do and the solution comes up like dumplings in boiling water.
The choice of equipment
Anyone can have their own opinion, but if you don't have a copper or aluminium rice cooker at home, a large enough pan can be a worthy substitute. The important thing is not to bulk up the risotto (but not to scatter it either), so even a casserole or a high-sided skillet will do fine. Of course, not great, but 'you manage somehow', as my grandmother would say. And her risotto turned out just great, so I believe her.
Another useful thing is a spatula or a dough scraper, but not the baking one, otherwise it gets burnt instantly. The wooden spoon is likely to split the risotto grains; Grandma managed to do it well anyway, but I am not that talented, so I prefer to play it safe :)
To make a perfect risotto with black truffle, you have to make the most of it, the king of the kitchen. To cut it correctly, there are truffle slicers, which are simple and functional. But if you don't have one, then you can try using a potato peeler with some caution, in combination with a grater, if necessary.
Black truffle risotto recipe
- Finely chop the shallot. Make an effort, I recommend. I tend to think that my grandmother was right when she said that each piece of onion should be smaller than a grain of rice, and in fact the sautéing comes out just fine.
- Prepare the broth in a large pot. Whether meat or vegetable is of little importance, as long as it is good. And don't be ashamed to use stock cubes, if that's all you have, as long as it's not too salty, or you'll get a pat with the wooden spoon from Grandma.
- Fry the shallot over a low heat to prevent it from becoming brown. Then add the rice and stir.
- Turn up the heat and wait a minute or so for the grains to become glazed. I like it when it sizzles a lot, it gives it a certain vaguely smoky tone that reminds me of my grandmother's old house, but I advise you not to overdo it, otherwise it will eventually become inedible. And it would be a waste for the truffle.
- Pour in the white wine and deglaze on a high flame. Be sure of a good temperature, so that the acidic alcohol part is burnt off immediately and you avoid the disapproving faces of your younger guests.
- When the wine has dried up, pour in 2-3 ladles of stock (which should always be slightly on the boil) and lower the flame a bit. I like the first flush of broth to be more generous, but don't drown the risotto. Remember that you're not making boiled rice.
- Stir gently a couple of times every minute, trying not to disintegrate all the grains, but just enough for them to release a sufficient amount of starch. Each time the rice dries out, pour in more stock. All the stock should have almost evaporated, but to avoid burning the rice, make sure it still flows back into the gaps you create when you pass the pan licker from one side to the other.
- Repeat the previous step until the rice has finished cooking. During the last few minutes, taste it more frequently; you must remove the risotto while it is still al dente to make the most of the final blending.
- Just before turning off the heat, add the Parmesan cheese and mix well.
- Cut the truffle into thin slices, and once the heat is off, add it to the rice together with the butter. To make the rice properly creamy, let it rest for another 2-3 minutes. To prepare this black truffle risotto as my grandmother would have done, cover the pan with a clean tea towel.
- Once this very last step is finished, stir and serve. Add a few more thin slices of truffle on each plate.
Some people prefer the black truffle to be cooked together with the rice during the last 2-3 minutes after the last bit of broth, usually finely grated so that the risotto takes on its flavours better. I have tried both versions, and I prefer to add it during the final setting of the risotto; if the truffle is good, it will release all its flavours with the heat of the risotto even when the heat of the cooker is off. However, if you are not sure about the quality of the truffle, nobody forbids you from using both solutions at the same time. :)