This super light risotto combines 3 of my favorite things, artichokes, Mascapone Cheese and aromatic Vernaccia di San Gimignano, a dry white wine native to our base in Tuscany on our 3-night food and wine tour of Central Italy.
This pale straw yellow wine has a characteristic bitter aftertaste that complements the Mascapone Cheese beautifully, providing an edge to its light sweetness.It’s a wine that since Renaissance times has been considered an excellent aperitif, and served with risotto, shellfish and white meat dishes.
Instead of garnishing it with parsley, consider snipping some feathery fennel fonds to give it an authentic taste of central Italy! In autumn in Tuscany, Umbria and Abruzzo, you will see that everyone has planted their rows of fennel ready for the winter and visible by their delicious wispy fronds, you can spot it growing wild too along the roadside by it’s cheery bright yellow flowers.
- 1 White Onion,
- 100 g of Butter,
- 200 ml Vernaccia of San Gimignano
- 1 l of Vegetable Stock,
- 10 Artichoke Hearts
- 2 Garlic Cloves
- A small bunch of Fennel Fronds
- 150 g of Mascarpone Cheese
- 1dl of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 4 Pistils of Saffron
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Chop the white onion finely and pan-fry with 50g of butter.
- Slice your artichoke hearts.
- Chop garlic and pan-fry with oil until golden-brown.
- Remove the onion from the pan, add the remaining butter and cook on a high flame. Add the rice, pour the Vernaccia wine in and let it evaporate. Add your hot stock covering the rice and proceed to cook,.
- Once the rice is almost ready, add saffron (diluted in some stock), artichokes and onion, add salt & pepper according to taste if needed, then gently fold in the Mascarpone Cheese.
- Serve with a light salad.