This recipe has come about for several reasons, firstly I asked my Twitter followers a poll for what type of Italian dish they wanted a recipe for next, and risotto won. Secondly, I visited Hertford’s Farmers Market (the second Saturday of every month 8:30am – 1pm) this weekend and met the Cheese Teller and was in awe of their beautiful cheeses and the stories behind them.
We formed an orderly queue for cheese and with each person came more cheese knowledge, as well as tasters for mutiple cheeses! The first gentlemen had us all curious about pecorino with truffle paste in the cheese – I couldn’t resist so had to try a bit. The flavour of the truffle is powerful and quite strong but coupled with the creamy nuttiness you often get with pecorino it was out of this world.
The Moliterno pecorino al tartufo is made in Sardinia but is named after the village where it was first produced; Moliterno in Basilicata. The cheese is now rather ‘ famous’ and won the silver world cheese award 2013-2014. They inject the black truffle into the cheese after it has been matured for around 1 year. They manage to infuse the entire cheese with that amazing, powerful truffle flavour.
The Moliterno pecorino al tartufo is made in Sardinia but is named after the village where it was first produced; Moliterno in Basilicata. The cheese is now rather ‘famous’ and won the silver world cheese award 2013-2014. They inject the black truffle into the cheese after it has been matured for around 1 year and they manage to infuse the entire cheese with that amazing, powerful truffle flavour.
So what was I going to make with this delicious cheese… RISOTTO!
I’ve based the recipe on two people this time as risotto can be time consuming but you can easily halve it.
- Olive oil
- 1 x onion (finely chopped)
- White wine
- Handful of porcini mushrooms
- 6 x rashers of pancetta
- 1 litre of vegetable stock
- 200g of risotto rice (measures vary for this so it really depends how much you love risotto, some people do the same as pasta and base it on 75g per person but I don’t think this is quite enough)
- Pecorino Moliterno al tartufo
- I always prepare my stock first, boil the kettle to make it easy and have it ready in a measuring jug. Soak the porcini mushrooms also in boiling water whilst you prepare the rest of the risotto (about 30 minutes).
- Next heat two tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan and on a low heat cook the onions until they are soft.
- Add your risotto to the pan and stir for a couple of minutes in the oil until all the grains are covered and almost look translucent. Next add a glug or two of wine and let the grains absorb the wine and the alcohol evapourate – stir continuously.
- Next add a ladeful of stock and continue to stir – once all the water is absorbed, add some more. Continue this for about 30 minutes, stirring almost constantly whilst it simmers.Top tip: Add a small amount of stock each time to the risotto and leave it until its nearly absorbed before adding more.
- Whilst you’re cooking the risotto rice cook the pancetta slices whole and then cut into smaller pieces once cooked and put to one side.
- Drain the porcini mushrooms and cut into smaller pieces if necessary, then soften in the same pan the pancetta was cooked in for a minute or so and put to one side with the pancetta
- Once the risotto has absorbed the water and is al dente with a creamy texture stir in the pancetta and mushrooms (you can leave aside some pancetta if you wish to place on top).
- Finally add some small pieces of Pecorino Moliterno al tartufo and stir in – add to taste but bear in the mind the strong flavours will come out over time.
- Serve and wow your guests with this marvelous dish, couple it with a good red wine like amarone or Barolo and they won’t foget this delicious dinner in a hurry!