Italy is famous worldwide for its delicate truffles. Winter truffles — most notably the white variety from Alba — are considered the most prized for their intense flavor. Still, while lesser known, black winter truffles, formally known as the tuber melanosporum vitt, are equally deserving of praise. In season from November to March, these dark tubers boast an earthy, rich flavor that's more aromatic than their summer cousins, making them the perfect addition to many dishes.
Here at Eataly, we love to shave Urbani Truffles truffles on top eggs, pasta, and, of course, risotto! Here's our recipe for Risotto al Tartufo Nero, a buttery risotto topped with shaved fresh black winter truffles.
Risotto al Tartufo Nero (Black Truffle Risotto)
6-8 cups broth (a vegetable or cheese broth works well)
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups yellow onion, chopped
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
2 cups Arborio rice or Carnaroli rice
Heat the broth pot almost to boil. Cover and keep it very hot on the stove near the risotto pan.
Add olive oil, onion, and ½ teaspoon salt in the saucepan. Set over medium heat. Stir well as the onion starts to heat and soften. Stir frequently and cook until onion is wilted and just starting to brown about 8 minutes or so.
Add in the rice all at once and increase the heat. Stir the rice and onions continuously, toasting the grains (but not browning them), until they make a clicking sound as you turn them in the pan, 2 minutes or more.
Pour in the wine and keep stirring for another couple of minutes all around the pan until the moisture has evaporated and the rice is dry. Immediately ladle in 2 cups of the almost-simmering broth – enough to cover the rice – and decrease the heat.
Cook, stirring steadily until the water is almost totally absorbed, 4 to 6 minutes.
Quickly ladle in more broth to cover the rice and add another ½ teaspoon salt. Keep stirring as the rice swells and releases its starches and a thick creamy suspension starts to form.
When the broth is almost completely absorbed again and you can see the bottom of the saucepan as you stir, ladle in another cup or so of broth.
Remember how much broth you add. After incorporating 6 cups (or a bit more) over a period of 15 to 19 minutes, taste the rice for texture and seasoning. Add more salt and/or incorporate more hot broth if needed.
The risotto is perfectly cooked when it is both al dente and creamy. Once done, turn off the heat and immediately drop the butter pieces into the saucepan. Stir vigorously to mix the risotto with the butter. (This final step of adding butter to the risotto is known asmantecarein Italian.)
Stir in the ½ cup of grated Grana Padano DOP cheese. For each serving, spoon a mound of risotto into a warm bowl and immediately shave paper-thin flakes of fresh black truffle over the top. Serve right away, as the heat releases the aroma of truffle into the air.