Risotto with Balsamic Sauce
Risotto Alla Modenese
Serves 4 to 6
In a covered 2-quart stockpot, bring the stock to a boil then simmer on the lowest heat.
In a 4 quart saucepan, cook the butter and the olive oil over medium heat until sizzling, about 2 minutes. Add the onion, stir well and cook for 3 more minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add the garlic and cook for 4 minutes. Add the rice, stir well, raise the heat to medium-high and add the wine, salt and pepper, stirring continuously until the liquid has evaporated, about 2 minutes.
Add 3 cups of the simmering stock and bring to a boil, stirring continuously. Reduce the heat to a low simmer, cover the saucepan and cook 15 minutes undisturbed.
While the rice simmers, prepare the sauce. Put all the sauce ingredients except the butter into a nonstick saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until it recduces by half, about 10 minutes. The sauce is ready when it coasts the back of a spoon. For those of you with decadent attitudes toward the richness of sauces, add the optional butter and stir well. Set aside while you finish the risotto.
Stir the risotto. Don’t worry if it is dry. Raise the heat to medium and add 1/2 cup of remaining simmering stick, stirring until it's all incorporated. Continue adding the simmering stick 1/2 cup at a time and stirring until the risotto is cooked. This process will take about 5-8 minutes. Taste the rice with each addition of stock. It is perfectly cooked when tender to the bite. Don't worry if there is additional stock left.
Turn off the heat, add the optional cream or 1/2 cup of the remaining simmering stock, the parsley and the cheese. Mix well and let rest for about 3 minutes.
Serve the risotto in deep pasta bowls and top each serving with no more than 1 1/2 tablespoons of the sauce. (Discard the garlic and rosemary before serving the sauce.)