Friday, October 23, 2015

Risotto with Lemon (Risotto al Limone).

Anna Del Conte was born in Milan but left in 1949 to learn English in London, where she met her husband Oliver Waley (1925–2007).

She published her first book, Portrait of Pasta, in 1975.
She became the first cookery writer in England to specialise in Italian food. Since then she has written 7 Italian cookery books and a memoir.
Her books have won countless prizes.
Today Anna Del Conte lives in Dorset on the outskirts of Shaftesbury.

Risotto with Lemon (Risotto al Limone) - The Happy Foodie

Serves 2
2 shallots
1 stick of celery
60g unsalted butter
1 tbs olive oil (not extra virgin)
300g risotto rice, preferably Vialone Nano
1 litre vegetable stock (I use Marigold stock powder)
zest and juice of 1/2 unwaxed lemon
needles from 2 small sprigs of fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 egg yolk
60ml (4 tbs) grated parmesan, plus more to sprinkle
60ml (4 tbs) double cream
Maldon salt to taste
good grating pepper, preferably white


Put the shallots and celery into a Magimix and blitz until they are a finely chopped mush.
Heat half the butter, the oil and the shallot and celery mixture in a wide saucepan, and cook to soften the mixture for about 5 minutes, making sure it doesn't catch.
Mix in the rice, stirring to give it a good coating of oil and butter.
Meanwhile, heat the stock in another saucepan and keep it at simmering point.

Pour a ladleful of the stock into the rice and keep stirring until the stock is absorbed.
Then add another ladleful and stir again.
Continue doing this until the rice is al dente.
You may not need all of the stock; equally, you may need to add hot water from the kettle.

Mix the lemon zest and the rosemary into the risotto, and in a small bowl beat the egg yolk, lemon juice, parmesan, cream and pepper.

When the risotto is ready - when the rice is no longer chalky, but still has some bite - take it off the heat and add the bowl of eggy, lemony mixture, and the remaining butter and salt to taste.
Serve with more grated parmesan if you wish, check the seasoning and dive in.

Anna's husband was her 'chief taster' because he had a British palat.
Anna and Waley shared a respect for reserve, for the British stiff upper lip and a dislike of the modern cult of sentimentality – 'all that crying and hugging and saying, "Love yoooo!" and, "You are amazing!' she says, with a curl of the lip. 'But I do love the British sense of humour – the Italians have none at all. Oliver [who died in 2007] was extremely witty, quick witted. He'd make a slight remark, quickly said, almost under his breath, that would be so funny and clever.' He was the first reader of all her books and the first taster of her recipes. It was a long and happy marriage, so readers of her recent biography, Risotto with Nettles, were taken aback by her almost casual admission of a passionate affair 10 years into her marriage and two other more minor affairs later.

- Dorset lives – Anna del Conte | Dorset Life - The Dorset Magazine
- Meeting Anna del Conte | The Foodie Bugle
- Books by Anna Del Conte!

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