Risotto con Carciofi, Prosciutto e Foglie di Piselli


3/4 Lb. Artichokes - Fresh and medium sized
1/4  Lb. Diced Prosciutto - Sliced as thinly as possible prior to dicing
1 Cup Arborio rice
2 Tbl. Butter
1 Med. Onion -  White & Diced
1/2 Cup Wine - white
2 Cup Beef stock - Canned is fine, home made is better
1/4 Lb. Pea Shoots or Peas - Shoots as fresh as possible
1/3 Cup Parmigiano-Reggiano - Freshly grated
Q.B.   Salt & Pepper

This dish is relatively easy to make and can be made with other than fresh artichokes, but we recommend that only in the extreme.  (We have found a brand of canned artichoke hearts at Trader Joe's that are put up in water and not flavored in any way.  We have used them in cases when artichokes are not in season and we felt an impulse to have artichokes.) Our preference is for fresh, medium sized artichokes.

Prepare the artichokes as follows: 

Remove all of the outer green leaves.  When down to the pale yellow leaves, trim the stalks to about 1 1/2 inches long and peel them.  Cut off the tips of the artichoke about 1/3 of the way down from the pointed end.  Cut the artichoke in quarters through the long axis.  Remove any chokes - many small artichokes do not have any, and then put the cleaned artichoke into a lemon water bath.   Clean all of the artichokes in this manner.

Remove the artichokes from the bath, pat dry and sauté them until they are tender - about 20 minutes.  Set aside.

Preparing the Risotto:

Place the beef broth in a small saucepan and being to a simmer.  this will b used to make the risotto.

In a 2 quart saucepan, melt a tablespoon of cup of butter, or a heat a quarter cup of olive oil.  When this is hot, onions and sauté until soft, then add the rice and stir until all of the rice is coated with oil and very slightly toasted.  Add the wine and cook until the wine is evaporated, then add one small ladleful (1/2 cup) of the broth, and stir.  Allow the rice to absorb the liquid before adding more broth.  Stir often during this process, and continue adding broth in the same manner.

Prior to adding the last bit of broth to the risotto, add the prosciutto and the artichokes to the risotto.  After 5 minutes or so, add the last of the broth and allow to cook for about 5 minutes or until the rise is still a tiny bit al dente.  At this point add another tablespoon of butter, and the pea shots or the peas,  salt and pepper to taste stir and cook for 3 minutes.  Add the Parmesan cheese and stir vigorously. (If you are feeling decadent,  1/4 cup of heavy cream or crème fraiche can be added to the risotto just prior to serving.)

Serve immediately.

Last updated on: 02/05/04 07:33:20 PM