Yes, I do realize it’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted a new recipe. But I do have a good excuse …
Winter in Ontario is long and cold and a girl just needs to take a break from it once in a while! Needless to say, much food and drink was consumed between the long sessions of beach lounging. The food at our resort was not exactly gourmet but there were a few bright spots, in particular a memorable risotto – Pea, Prosciutto and Parmesan Risotto.
I was determined to have some more of it when I returned home. At the resort, they served this dish with sugar shards. Yes, sugar shards! A little unexpected but definitely lovely. I had to figure out how to duplicate that as well.
This risotto is a bit on the rich side and the sugar shards actually help to cut the richness in a delightful way. If you don’t like the sugar shards, I might suggest a bit of lemon zest instead, for the same reason.
This dish would make a great appetizer or a main, with a side salad or seafood.
Pea, Prosciutto and Parmesan Risotto
Summary: This is a classic risotto, served with a bit of sweet in the form of tasty and decorative sugar shards. The combination of the sweet with the risotto has to be experienced.
- 5 cups of chicken broth
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter (divided)
- 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
- 2 oz. prosciutto, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 cups arborio rice (12 oz.)
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup frozen peas, thawed (or if you can find them, try fresh shelled peas!)
- 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 3 Tbsp. fresh parsley, finely chopped
- Optional: 1/2 tsp. lemon zest (recommended if not using sugar shards)
- For optional sugar shards:
- 1/4 cup granulated white sugar
- Bring broth to a simmer in a saucepan, cover and keep simmering.
- In a frying pan, melt 2 Tbsp. of the butter over medium heat. Cook onion until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the prosciutto and cook 1 additional minute.. Add rice and cook, stirring for one minute. Add wine and simmer, stirring, until wine is absorbed.
- Stir in 1 cup of hot broth and cook at a strong simmer, stirring continuously, until broth is absorbed. Continue adding broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring and letting each addition of broth become absorbed before adding the next addition. Continue until the rice is just tender and creamy but still al dente, about 18 to 20 minutes (they may be leftover broth).
- Stir in peas, lemon zest (if using), the parmesan cheese, parsley and remaining 2 Tbsp. of butter and stir. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve immediately, with a sugar shard on top (see below for how to make sugar shards). Pass additional grated Parmesan, if desired.
- Will serve 6-8 as an appetizer or 4 as a main. The sugar shard should be broken up with a fork and mixed in with the risotto for random, sweet, crunchy bites.
- For sugar shards:
- Place oven rack in top position and turn on oven broiler. Line a baking sheet with foil. Sprinkle a thin layer of sugar into the middle of the baking sheet (without bare spots). Place under broiler and with oven door open, heat under the broiler until sugar melts into a continuous puddle (don’t wander away while broiling!). This should take 3-5 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. It should be hard. Peel off of foil and break into individual shards.
Prep time: 15 min | Cook time: 25 min | Total time: 40 min
Number of servings (yield): 4