Here it goes the third recipe in collaboration with an Italian store: a risotto with taleggio cheese and speck. After my debut with Spaghetti alla Puttanesca and later with the tiramisu recipe, which I previously had published on this site, the third proposal seemed clear. I am happy that at the same time I am writing this post, the recipe is already having a good welcoming the first day in the store. Elias, the owner, is telling me that his clients are very happy with the card, the ingredients and thrilled to try to cook this risotto.
Now I would like to talk about the story of the taleggio. This is a fresh cheese produced in the village of the same name, located in Bergamo, northern Italy. In the 10th and 11th centuries, it was called “Stracchino del Valle Taleggio”, the name that every soft and square cheese used to have in that period.
Although there aren’t detailed historical references, we know the word stracchino comes from the dialect from the area (“stracch”), which means tired. These cheeses were produced at the end of the summer in the alpine valleys with the milk from the tired cows after a long back journey from the hillside pastures. But it would not be until the last century when it started to be commercialized as Taleggio.
Today things have changed and obviously, it’s not only produced in the mountains, but its characteristic smell and flavour are still so unmistakable that makes it one of the most appreciated cheeses in Italy. Also for me!
280 gr (1 ¼ cups) Arborio rice
200 gr (⅞ cup) taleggio cheese
200 gr (⅞ cup) speck
80 gr (⅓ cup) unsalted butter
30 gr (⅝ cup) dried boletus
1 medium sweet onion
Vegetable stock as needed
Black pepper and nutmeg to taste
Chive to decorate
In a pan toast the rice. Heat the vegetable stock too. Set both aside.
Now in a large pan stir-fry the onion in 20 gr of butter (1 ⅕ tbsp), add the rice and then enough stock to cover it. Stir constantly at high heat for 18 minutes. Add stock when needed to prevent the risotto from drying.
At the 12th minute add the speck already cut into cubes of 1 cm each (0’40 inches). At the 15th minute, place the boletus previously hydrated in water for 15 minutes. Continue mixing.
One minute later add the taleggio cut into pieces.
At the 18th minute turn off the heat (at this moment your rice will look slightly creamy). Now it’s the turn to butter the risotto, so add the remaining butter and then the black pepper and nutmeg to taste. Mix well and leave it to stand for 5 minutes. During this 5 minutes stir the risotto twice. Now your risotto is super creamy.
Note: We do not add salt as the cheese and speck are salty enough.
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