Risotto zafferano and traditional balsamic vinegar

The whole saffron threads give the rich notes of dried fruit and flowers with a hint of smokiness, and Vialone Nano rice absorbs all the flavors and keeps them locked in its round grains. But the best part of this recipe is finishing the creamy, golden risotto with drops of traditional balsamic vinegar extra vecchio, aka aged for 25 years in wooden barrels in the Modena province. This viscous, agrodolce (almost balmy) final touch will transform your comfort food risotto into the star of the dinner.

Ingredients

500 gr Carnaroli rice
2 small onions finely chopped
1,9 l vegetable stock
A glass of white wine
60 gr Parmigiano Reggiano
25 gr butter
500 mg (half jar) saffron threads
Traditional balsamic vinegar aged for 25 years
EVOO

Preparation

  1. The previous night dissolve the saffron threads in 2 spoons of water and let it rest for the night.
  2. For the risotto, fry the onion in 2 spoons of EVOO until soft, adding a little stock to keep them moist if they tend to dry.
  3. Add the rice and let it toast a little, then simmer with white wine until nearly evaporated.
  4. Start adding the hot stock to the rice, a ladleful at a time, waiting until each addition has been absorbed, before adding the next one. Keep on stirring all the time.
  5. At about mid cooking (about 10 mins) add the saffron diluted in water.
  6. At the end of cooking (about 20 mins) turn off the fire and add the butter and the grated Parmigiano Reggiano.
  7. Let the risotto rest covered for 5 minutes before serving.
  8. Finish with some drops of Traditional balsamic vinegar aged for 25 years.