Risotto con Robiola, Limone, e Paprika Affumicata (Risotto with Creamy Cheese, Preserved Lemon, and Smoked Paprika)

published Oct 10, 2021
Risotto with Creamy Cheese, Preserved Lemon, and Smoked Paprika Recipe

This unique risotto is ultra rich and creamy thanks to robiola, a fresh cow's milk cheese from Northern Italy.

Serves4

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two bowls of risotto o na table with drinks
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Anna Stockwell

Chef Alice Delcourt of restaurant Erba Brusca in Milan uses preserved lemons, a
Moroccan specialty, to brighten up this creamy risotto. She makes her own by
pickling quartered unpeeled lemons (even if you choose organic untreated ones,
make sure you rinse and dry them well before using) in a glass jar, packing them
tightly with coarse sea salt, and storing them in a cool spot for one month, but
you can find jars of preserved lemons in specialty food stores. By pairing the
creamy, round-tasting risotto base with piquant finishing elements, Alice adds a
kick to a great classic.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Anna Stockwell

This has quickly become my go-to weeknight dinner: It comes together in a half
hour and makes a grand impression even if you have last-minute guests. You can
also easily create your own variations on it: For instance, you can sub chicken
broth with vegetable broth and, after adding the cheese, instead of topping it
with smoked paprika and preserved lemon rind, you can finish it with a
refreshing “gremolada” (to make it, chop the leaves from a bunch of flat-leaved
parsley, the rind of half of a preserved lemon, and one clove of garlic, then
roughly mash them together in a mortar or blend in a food processor, making
sure the final texture is coarse).

Buy the book! The New Cucina Italiana by Laura Lazzaroni

Credit: Alberto Blasetti

Risotto with Creamy Cheese, Preserved Lemon, and Smoked Paprika Recipe

This unique risotto is ultra rich and creamy thanks to robiola, a fresh cow's milk cheese from Northern Italy.

Serves 4

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 7 cups

    low-sodium chicken broth

  • 1

    medium shallot

  • 1/2

    preserved lemon

  • 1/2 ounce

    Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

  • 1 tablespoon

    extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 cups

    carnaroli or arborio rice

  • 4 ounces

    robiola cheese

  • 3 tablespoons

    unsalted butter

  • Kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon

    smoked paprika

Instructions

  1. Place 7 cups low-sodium chicken broth in a medium saucepan over medium heat and bring to a low simmer. Meanwhile, dice 1 medium shallot (about ¼ cup). Remove and discard the flesh of 1/2 preserved lemon. Rinse the rind, then finely dice (about 2 tablespoons). Finely grate 1/2 ounce Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (1/4 packed cup).

  2. When the broth is simmering, adjust the heat as needed to keep it at a bare simmer. Heat 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil in a large, heavy, wide saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the shallot and sauté until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add 2 cups carnaroli rice. Cook, stirring constantly, until glassy and too hot to hold in your hand, 3 to 4 minutes.

  3. Add a ladleful of warm broth and cook, stirring often, until the broth is mostly absorbed, about 2 to 3 minutes. Repeat adding the broth one ladleful at a time, stirring often and waiting until the rice absorbs the broth before adding the next ladleful. Adjust the heat as needed to keep the risotto barely simmering. Cook until the rice is just tender but still al dente (not mushy), 20 to 25 minutes from the first addition of broth. You may not use all of the broth. The risotto should have the consistency of a creamy porridge, but should not be soupy.

  4. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Add the Parmigiano, preserved lemon rind, 4 ounces robiola cheese, and 3 tablespoons unsalted butter. Stir vigorously, whipping the mixture until very creamy and well combined. Taste and season with kosher salt as needed (you’ll likely need between 1/2 to 1 teaspoon depending on how salty your broth and cheese are). Divide between 4 warm serving plates, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, and serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

Robiola substitute: 4 ounces fresh goat cheese can be substituted for the robiola.

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Add a splash or water or broth when reheating to loosen it up.

Adapted with permission from © The New Cucina Italiana: What to Eat, What to Cook, and Who to Know in Italian Cuisine today, Rizzoli New York, 2021.