Christmas came early for me this year when I was given the opportunity to work with the Italian cookware company, Lagostina. As part of their Heritage Collection Lagostina has a casserole that is especially designed to be used when making Risotto. This pan has boasts a multi-layer design that allows for optimal distribution. Making risotto can be intimidating, it requires a lot of attention. Although you are suppose to stir the risotto consistently I have to admit I stepped away to turn my washing machine on (gasp!). I didn’t come back to burnt risotto and all was still right with the world. This pan doesn’t promote sticking or having arborio rice burning at the bottom while you are still waiting for the stock to simmer. Another added bonus is the cherry wood lid. Not only is the top of the pot gorgeous , but functional as well. The cherry wood allows the lid to be a trivet for the pot when serving.
For more information on the Lagostina Risotto Pot: http://www.lagostinausa.com/en/product/detail/linea-patrimonio-la-risottiera-casserole-pan-4-qt-1
In another pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and saute them for about 3 minutes. Then add the mushrooms and saute for another 5 minutes. Season the mushrooms with a little bit of salt and pepper. Then add the rice and stir to combine.
Add the sherry to the pot with the rice and mushrooms. Bring to a boil, and reduce liquid by half, about 3-4 minutes.
Add the simmering stock to the pot with the mushrooms and risotto, 1/2 cup at a time. Continue stirring as you add the stock. This helps keep the rice from sticking to the edges of the pan. Also stirring sloughs off the starch from the rice, making the creamy sauce you’re looking for in a risotto. Make sure you wait until the stock is almost completely absorbed before adding the next 1/2 cup. This process will take about 25 minutes. The rice should be just cooked and slightly chewy.
As you are stirring in the stock in add in a little bit more sherry. As I was stirring I think I dropped in two extra tablespoons. This is optional but oh so good!
Remove the risotto from the heat and stir in the Parmesan cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper if needed.