Yes, we did a beautiful lemon risotto in our award-winning Rice article back in May, but rice is a great addition to the non-meat eating diet. Rice is mainly grown in the Po Valley of northern Italy, which runs through the Lombardy region, where the population is concentrated in the Milan area.
4 cups vegetable broth, or chicken stock (If you’re not going all-vegetarian, you may need more, depending on the rice.)
1 small onion, finely diced
1 ½ cups Arborio rice (If you have Carnaroli rice on hand, that’s even better.)
½ teaspoon chopped whole saffron, soaked in ½ cup of the warm broth
¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons heavy cream
Bring the broth to a boil in a pan and keep just below the simmer. Heat the butter in a saucepan and add the onion and cook over moderate heat for about 5 minutes or until the onion is translucent. Stir in the rice and cook for 1 minute so each grain is coated in butter. Add a ladleful of the hot broth. When the liquid is almost evaporated, add another ladleful of broth, repeating until the rice is tender but still firm. This will take about 25 minutes. About 5 minutes before the end of cooking add the saffron-flavored broth, ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese, a sprinkling of salt (the book also suggests adding one truffle, sliced paper-thin, if you have it). When the rice is cooked (taste a few grains to determine if it’s done. If it is undercooked, it will have a chalky center), stir in the heavy cream. Serve at once in heated bowls, with the remaining grated cheese on the side.