Risotto Zafferano and Traditional Balsamic Vinegar

The saffron gives to this risotto rich notes of dried fruit and flowers with a hint of smokiness. Vialone Nano is the perfect rice variety for this dish; it absorbs all the flavors and keeps them locked in its round grains. The best part of this recipe is finishing the creamy, golden risotto with drops of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena 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 risotto into a 5-star dish.

Ingredients

SERVES: 5-6 people
TIME: 45 minutes

500 gr/1.1 lbs of Vialone Nano rice
1 medium-size onion, finely chopped
8 cups vegetable stock
2/3 cup of white wine
2 cup of grated Vacche Rosse Cheese
2 tablespoons of butter
30 mg (3 packets) saffron powder
Traditional Balsamic Vinegar aged for 25 years
3 tablespoons of EVOO

Preparation

  1. Bring vegetable stock to a simmer and keep it covered.
  2. In a separate pot, sauté on medium-low heat the onion in extra virgin olive oil until translucent  (3-4 minutes).
  3. Add the rice and increase the heat to medium-high. Stir and toast the grains for a few minutes, then pour the white wine.
  4. Once the wine is reduced, add 4 cups of vegetable stock to the rice and cook on medium heat, stirringly occasionally, until the broth reduces by 2/3 (about 10 minutes).
  5.  Add the saffron powder and mix. Continue to pour the stock, a cup at a time, waiting until each additional cup has been absorbed before adding the next one. Keep on gently stirring.
  6. At the end of cooking (about 20 mins) turn off the fire and add butter and grated cheese. Stir until butter is melted.
  7. Let the risotto rest covered for 5 minutes before serving.
  8. Finish each plate with 20 drops of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar.

NOTA BENE: if using saffron threads, the previous night dissolve 1/3 of saffron threads in 2 spoons of water and let it rest for the night. Add the saffron diluted in water at step 5.