Filled with pockets of melted Gorgonzola cheese, this simple but delicious risotto is topped with toasted pine nuts.
To start, add the pine nuts to a dry skillet over medium-low heat. Toast the nuts, tossing them from time to time, until they are light golden brown on all sides. Once done, remove from the pan and set aside. You can also roast the nuts in the oven (see attached drill-down).
Note: For the liquid, use a light chicken or vegetable stock. If your stock is very strong in flavor, you can use a combination of 1/2 water and 1/2 stock so you don’t over power the flavor of the rice. Always keep in mind that more or less liquid may be needed to cook this dish. It’s always better to have too much than not enough.
To prepare your mise en place, place the liquid into a pot, season with salt (if needed) and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and keep hot.
In the meantime, finely dice the onions and garlic. Cut the Gorgonzola cheese into cubes and transfer the cheese to the refrigerator while you cook the dish.
Note: For this dish, it is important to use rice that is suitable for risotto.
Measure out the rice, olive oil and white wine. Set aside.
Place the oil into a large, heavy-bottomed pan and heat over medium to medium-low heat.
Add the onions and a pinch of salt and sweat until soft and translucent, about 10 to 15 minutes. Next, add 1/4 cup of the hot cooking liquid to soften the onions further. Let the cooking liquid completely evaporate before moving onto the next step.
Once the liquid has completely evaporated, turn the heat up to medium-high and add the rice all at once. Stir to coat the rice in the hot fat. Monitor the heat so the aromatics do not burn. Toast the rice for a few minutes until the perimeter of the grains are translucent.
Once toasted, add the garlic and cook, stirring just until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Deglaze with the wine. Stir the rice until the wine evaporates.
Once the wine has evaporated, slowly add the hot liquid cup by cup. Stir often to coax the starches out of the rice. Adjust the heat so the liquid is always gently boiling. Once the liquid has been absorbed, then and only then, add the next cup. Stir frequently.
Continue to add liquid and cook the risotto until it reaches the al dente stage (or until it is done to your liking). Start tasting the rice for doneness around the 15 minute mark.
Once the risotto has been cooked to your liking, taste it for seasoning. Add a touch of hot liquid to loosen the consistency, if necessary. Stir in the butter (or olive oil). Place the chunks of Gorgonzola over top. Cover and let rest for 1 to 2 minutes to allow the cheese to melt.
Plate the risotto on warmed dishes. Top with the toasted pine nuts and serve immediately.
Vary this dish by adding different types of cheese such as: Bocconcini, Blue, Cambozola, Mascarpone, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Burrata, Pecorino, etc.