Risotto alle Nocciole

(serves 3 | 40 minutes | medium)

I decided to combine two gems of Piedmontese cuisine in a creamy risotto al bianco, on top of which I drizzled toasted hazelnuts and a handful of diced apples, to give the dish a fresh note and contrasting texture.

300g arborio rice – 1L vegetable stock – 1 cup dry white wine – 2 handfuls hazelnuts – salt and pepper – 1 apple – grated parmigiano – butter – soft cheese (such as Robiola d’Alba)

  1. Place a deep, non-stick pot over medium heat and add the rice, stir frequently to let it toast. Once it’s too hot to hold in your hand it has toasted enough. ​Pour in the wine and let it sfumare (deglaze).  
  2. Once the wine has been absorbed begin pouring in the boiling hot broth ladle by ladle, stirring in between so it is absorbed well. Repeat this process until the rice is al dente.
  3. In the meantime, dice the apple finely and place the hazelnuts on a baking tray and toast for a few minutes on high temperature and grill setting in the oven. Once cooled down, break them into smaller bits. 
  4. Add another ladle of broth, mix well and turn off the flame. Add a few handfuls of parmigiano, butter to your liking and a few tablespoons of soft cheese. Mix vigorously, also known as the mantecatura phase in Italian, then add salt and pepper to taste and leave it to sit for a few minutes. 
  5. Place the risotto on individual plates and top with a sprinkle of hazelnuts and a dozen apple chunks.