‘Giorgio’s section on risottos in his book Made in Italy is definitive. And this recipe would certainly make up part of my last lunch. For me, white truffles are all about that sexy, musty, earthy aroma’

Tom Parker Bowles

White truffle risotto

An extract from Giorgio Locatelli’s Made In Italy: Food and Stories Published by Fourth Estate London

Make the risotto base-for details, see www.countrylife.co.uk/risotto.

You need a white truffle and a teaspoon of white truffle butter, which you can buy at Italian delicatessens. At the final stage of the risotto-the mantecatura add the truffle butter along with the Parmesan. Serve the risotto in bowls and then shave the cleaned white truffle over it at the table with great ceremony. For the ultimate truffle risotto, put a truffle into your jar of rice for at least 24 hours before you want to make it, so that its wonderful aroma can infuse the rice.

Risotto alla lodigianna

Ingredients

2.5 litres good chicken stock
50g butter (cut into even-sized pieces and kept very cold)
1 onion, chopped very, very finely
400g superfine carnaroli rice
125ml dry white wine
Salt and pepper

Take the pan off the heat and let the risotto rest for a minute without stirring. This slight cooling is important because you are about to add butter and cheese, and if you add these ingredients to piping-hot risotto, they will melt too quickly and the risotto may split. You see this sometimes in restaurants, where the grains of rice, instead of clinging together, seem to stick out, each surrounded by a little pool of oily liquid.

The mantecatura

Quickly beat in the cold butter, then beat in the cheese, getting your whole body behind it, moving your beating hand as fast as you can, and shaking the pan with the other. You should hear a satisfying, thwock, thwock sound as you work the ingredients in. The result should be a risotto that
is creamy, rich and emulsified.

At this point, taste for seasoning and, if you like, add a grind of salt and pepper. Remember, though, that if your stock is strong flavoured, and once you have added the salty cheese, the risotto may not need any seasoning at all.

Serve the risotto as quickly as you can, as it will carry on cooking for a few minutes even as you transfer it to your serving bowls (shallow ones are best), and you want to enjoy it while it is at its creamiest.

If you’ve achieved the perfect consistency (all’onda), when you tilt the bowls the risotto should ripple like the waves of the sea.