Students are offered a light lunch in my cooking classes. It doesn’t matter what we are creating that day in class, there are always several other dishes that complement the main dish, and/or use ingredients of something we are making that day. A class I held a while ago was to learn how to make Limoncello. While I think any type of food would go well with Limoncello, I did want to choose a few recipes that would let the Limoncello stand out among the ingredients.
Now, who would think to put Limoncello in risotto? Especially since wine is also an ingredient. Can wine and limoncello play nicely with the rice? Well, let’s find out.
A photo below shows this dish when I made it with red wine. In my experimental stages of making this risotto, I tried using a dry red wine as well as white. I would say I used red wine instead of white because I was out of white wine but those that know me personally, know that would be a lie. 🙂 I just tried it on a whim to see if there was a dramatic difference in taste, but I didn’t find that to be the case. It did have a slightly different taste, maybe bolder but nothing significant. For other risotto recipes using red wine, check these out: Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme Risotto, Eggplant Risotto, and Primitivo Risotto With Sausage.
Bottom line… make it with whatever type of wine you like best. By the way, it was fabulous made with rose too! In fact, almost my favorite of the three wines to include in this risotto. Rose is so light and slightly bubbly which gives the risotto a light zing when combined with the other ingredients. This one was certainly a winner.
Risotto becoming creamy.
Oh soooo good. But just in case you have leftovers and want to make something different with the risotto, you can try this recipe: Asparagus Arancini aka Risotto Balls.
- 2 cups Arborio rice
- 2 leeks, sliced (white & light green portion)
- 1/2 cup dry red or white wine
- 5-6 cups vegetable broth
- 3-4 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Lemon zest from one lemon
- 1 cup asparagus ends and spears cut into 1” pieces
- 1/3 cup Limoncello
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- Kosher salt
- In a Dutch oven or large skillet melt butter with olive oil. Add leeks and a pinch of salt. Cook about 2 minutes until almost softened and then add rice and continue cooking until rice is toasted and golden brown (about 4 minutes).
- Pour in wine and simmer stirring until the wine is completely absorbed (about 1 minute).
- Add lemon zest and Limoncello, vegetable broth, and a generous pinch of salt. Stir to mix. Cover and cook on medium heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add more vegetable broth as necessary to create a creamy consistency. (Be careful not to let the rice get too dry or it will stick to the pan.)
- Stir in asparagus and continue to cook covered for another 10-15 minutes. The rice should be tender and mixture creamy. Add Parmesan and adjust seasoning if needed.