Makes: 4 servings.
1/2 cup fava beans
1 cup English peas, shelled
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
5 tablespoons butter
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and finely diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 quart chicken stock, brought to a boil and left warm on the back of the stove
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 ounces prosciutto, thinly sliced
1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Have a large bowl with ice water waiting. Pull the strings from the fava beans and shuck them from their shells. Plop the fava beans into the salted water. When they rise to the surface, remove one fava bean. The outside layer should peel away easily and the inside of the bean should be bright green. If so, remove the fava beans from the boiling water with a slotted spoon, plunge them in the ice water, and let them cool for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the ice water and peel away the waxy outer layer. Set aside. Repeat this process with the English peas, which will not need peeling.
2. Bring a large saucepan to medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter. When the oil and butter run around the pan easily, add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened and translucent, about 10minutes. Add the thyme and cook for 1 minute more.
3. Toss in the Arborio rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until all the grains are entirely coated, about 2 minutes. Pour in the wine and cook until the liquid is reduced by half its volume, 2 to 3 minutes. While the wine is reducing, push the rice around in the pan, gently.(If you stir the rice too vigorously, it will release all its starches and turn the risotto glurby.)
4. At this point, pour the chicken stock into the rice, 1 cup at a time, stirring continuously. (Imagine that you are trying to put a baby to sleep with your stirring.) When the liquid is absorbed, but not dry, add more stock. Continue this process until all the stock is absorbed.
5. Taste the rice. It should be chewy and soft, without being mushy. If it is crunchy, turn down the heat and keep adding liquid. Taste the risotto and season with salt and pepper. Toss in the remaining butter and the Parmesan cheese. Stir until everything is fully incorporated. Place the lid on the saucepan and allow the risotto to sit, covered, until the risotto is beautifully creamy, about 2 minutes.
6. Roll up the prosciutto slices and cut the slices into a large chiffonade. Fry up the prosciutto slices in a medium saute pan until they are crisp.
7. Spoon the fava beans and English peas into the risotto and stir gently. To serve, scoop up the risotto and place it into large bowls for the eager guests. Drizzle each bowl of risotto with some of the remaining olive oil and top with the prosciutto slices.
If you cannot eat dairy, you can use a good nondairy “butter” in place of the butter, and a hard goat’s cheese in place of the Parmesan.
Use this recipe as the template for risotto and adjust the ingredients: seafood risotto, beet risotto, spinach risotto, artichoke risotto, and sweet corn risotto.
Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef