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Absolute Best Risotto You Will EVER Eat: Toasted Pistachio Gorgonzola Dolce

  • j

Immodestly this is the best risotto that I have ever eaten. I have had risotto at Al Soriso and Dal Pescatore (Michelin three stars), Battebecco and Bitone (one stars in Bologna), da Fiore (one star in Venezia) as well as at least a half dozen more starred restaurants in Italy. I also won a major cooking contest with it several years ago.

I post this because of an earlier discussion about "pressure cooker" risotto and the current risotto discussion. For those on this board who are into cooking make this EXACTLY the way I describe. Don't make it if you CHANGE ANYTHING. This is expensive and somewhat time consuming but it will be the most intensely flavorful dish of its kind that you will ever eat. Again, make absolutely certain that you use EXACTLY the ingredients that I describe. As much as anything this is a technique dish but when you get it down you will absolutely WOW your friends or customers.


From Joe Heflin

1 pound vialone nano arborio rice (carneroli is
acceptible as substitution)
1/4 cup olive oil (as good as you can find, i.e. Badia
Coltibuono, Castello di Ama, etc.)
one sweet onion (Vidalia, Texas Sweet, etc.) finely
chopped to equal one cup
1 1/2 cups chardonnay (I use Beringer or a wine at
least equal to this-NOT a cheap wine.)
2 cups chicken stock (REAL chicken stock, not from a
can or a cube)(frozen chicken stock that sells for
$3.99 for 8 ozs. is OK) Use WARM chicken stock
that you keep heated in a separate pot over
low heat.
7/8 pound Gorgonzola DOLCE (NOTE: You MUST use the
dolce, no other gorgonzola will do. Don't make
this if you can't find it!!!) The gorgonzola
should be broken up into pieces or one to two
inch soft chunks that have sat at room temperature
for an hour or more.
1/2 pound unsalted butter (Pleugra, Kate's, European,
absolute best you can find.) I slice the butter one
inch thick and let the slices sit at room tempera-
ture for at least an hour.
1/2 cup toasted (in oven for 3-4 minutes at 325 degrees)
pistachios, chopped that you have shelled yourself.
Use everything, chopped nut and "dust" but remember
you want these for crunch as well as flavor. I
might even use a bit more than this. Use unsalted
10 ozs. Reggiano Parmegiano grated which will equal
about three cups in volume. Grate this
yourself from the best and most moist brick you can
I use an All Clad 3 1/2 quart pan and a wooden spoon with a flat side for stirring. In the sauce pan over medium to medium high heat (6 to 7 on a scale of 10) heat olive oil. Add onions until they sweat (several minutes). Add rice and toast stirring constantly as it cooks for two minutes or so. Add wine and cook until completely reduced stirring frequently. When the wine has completely disappeared start adding stock one ladle at a time (about 2/3 cup) and cook stirring constantly until the rice absorbs the stock. Repeat until all of the stock is absorbed. After 8 or 9 minutes of this add the gorgonzola dolce. Continue to stir the cheese into the mixture for another four minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the butter, toasted pistachios and reggiano. Gently stir all together thororughly.

Serve by itself in a large white plate or pasta bowl.
This is extremely filling and very intensely flavored. The above recipe will serve at least eight because of this. Again do NOT make this if you cannot find EXACTLY the ingredients called for.

This is risotto as an art.

Please post on here your results if you make it EXACTLY as I state. I am sorry to be so overbearing but I have friends who try to take shortcuts and they don't understand why "mountain" gorgonzola doesn't have the sweetness or even the creamy texture of dolce or grana tastes different than reggiano. All arborio rice is not the same. If you take the time and trouble this is a dish that could be served at a three Michelin starred restaurant.

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  1. Do you need to use All-Clad?

    31 Replies
    1. re: Aaron D

      An excellent question. Also, my grocer frequently marks the $3.99/cup stock down to $3.49/cup. May I buy the stock on sale, or would that render this dish suitable only for, say, a two-star restaurant?

      1. re: Grace
        felix the dog

        I can't wait for the Toasted Pistachio Gorgonzola Dolce Nazi restaurant to open up.

        1. re: felix the dog

          Two, perhaps three facetious responses to a serious post for a recipe that won $10,000 and a trip to Italy. I'm sorry that I placed it here since no one seems to appreciate it. I'd wanted to share it with this group for my two years of extensive posting on ChowHound. My insistence on doing it correctly is falling on deaf ears. People are going to make my recipe the way they want to-not the way it should be made. For those who take the time and trouble to make it correctly thank you. Again, please post on here your reaction to it.
          I learned a lesson today.

          1. re: Joe H.

            Aww, cheer up, we're teasing you cuz you're one of the pack!

            (altho, I AM kinda scared to try it.... :) )

            1. re: galleygirl

              A beautiful posting. A recipe that must be tried. When one puts so much love, attention and detail into one's work and shares it so generously, there need be no pretense of indulgence for experimentation or compromise.

              And now - a question I have carried with me for more than dozen years. A New Years celebration in Milan included a rasberry champagne risotto - a specialty I was told of the region. I have never been able to find a recipe or even approximate the dish in my many experiments. Any suggestions?

              I am obliged.
              With thanks,

              1. re: AZ

                I couldn't find a raspberry champagne risotto recipe for you, but I did find one with strawberries in this incredible online recipe collection. Perhaps you could substitute raspberries using the proportions listed in this recipe.

                Here's the link:

                Link: http://fooddownunder.com/cgi-bin/sear...

                1. re: Nancy Berry


                  That is just too kind. I can't wait to try it. Let the weekend begin!



                2. re: AZ

                  On page 300 of the book "Risotto" is a recipe for champagne risotto. It specifies dry champagne. 4 1/2 cups chicken stock (basic broth in the book), 3 tblsp. butter, 1 tblsp minced onion, 1 1/2 c arborio, 1 1/4 c dry Champagne, 1/4 cup light cream, fresh parsley. Saute onion in butter, add rice, then 1 c champagne, then 1/2 c of broth at time, At end add remaining champagne, cream and parsley.
                  It would be just a guess for when to add the raspberries because I don't know the texture of the dish you had. But as a first attempt I would take a cup or so of fresh raspberries and saute them in a tbsp of butter for a minute or so and then add them at the end gently folding them in. Just a guess.
                  There was a great restaurant in Milan called La Scarletta in the late '80's and early '90's that was considered one of the best in the city. They had truly outstanding and creative food including phenominally original risotto that they were known for. But this is just a long shot guess since it could have been any of a number of places.

                  1. re: Joe H.


                    Thank you. I see my right arm will be growing larger with risotto experiments in my near future.

                    My recollection of the restaurant in Milan is a bit dream like. It was New Years Day. Milan cold. The stone buildings by themselves can chill you to the bone.

                    We wandered the streets around the Galleria. Watched a brass band assemble at a leisurely pace and then perform. We were grateful for our Borsalino hats and heavy coats.

                    We passed a small restaurant. In earlier walks we had normally seen it crowded to the gills. It was early afternoon and there were a few (perhaps two) empty tables we could see when we peered into the window. A gentleman, who may have been the owner, or a host, or a friend of the owner, or someone trying to help us, waved us at one of the tables.

                    When we started to open the menus, a waiter shook his head no. It is New Years. Special risotto. Just for today.

                    We have always found in Italy that the specials are special - not surplus from the day before or a lower cost ingrediant. Still, we could not imagine what lay in store.

                    I carry no memory of the name of the restaurant. But if I wandered the streets in Milan again, I know I could find the building. The buildings in Italy do not change.

                    I haven't come across the champagne and raspberry risotto again. Perhaps, thanks to your suggestions, I will create something close to this memory.



                    1. re: AZ

                      Thanks for sharing, AZ. Great story!

              2. re: Joe H.
                Wendy Leonard

                I think we're all dying to try it. You're being teased because you WERE pretty authoritarian, not because we don't appreciate your sharing the recipe. Perhaps if you'd said, hey guys, this recipe won't taste the same if you change ANYTHING, it would have had a friendlier tone. It was hard to focus on the recipe.

                1. re: Wendy Leonard

                  I apologize because I was intentionally overbearing but friends of mine have made this and it didn't taste the same or have the same texture. It really is hard to nail the texture but I've probably made this (or some kind of risotto) 200 to 300 times over the years. I know all of the mistakes that I and they made and so I tried to be emphatic in how it should be done. I can count on one hand the number of times that I've had correctly made or intensely flavored risotto in an American restaurant and, truthfully, most in Italy take shortcuts. I WAS too strong and for that I'm sorry. But Dal Pescatore makes a risotto milanesa with saffron that she grows herself! Can you imagine what that tastes like? With stock from chickens she raises herself! Simple milanesa but incredible depth of flavor.

                  I only mentioned the Michelin restaurants to give credibility to this since few if anyone on this board know me or what my values are. I did come off as arrogant and, again, I did not mean to. I am sorry. But this is a great dish when done correctly by anyone's standards or level of expectations.

                  I hope some on this board do make it. My original intention was only to share the pleasure of enjoying it with those on this board. For all of my hyperbole I really haven't exaggerated how good it is.

                  1. re: Joe H.

                    Not being on the hot seat, I was amused by the irony of the initial responses to your recipe, thinking:

                    How many times have people who share recipes been accused of "leaving out an ingredient," desiring to keep others from replicating the dish. What, if anything, that is left out are some of the techniques that an experienced cook takes for granted and a cook less experienced with that particular kind of food might not know. Clearly, you did not want that to happen.

                    Thanks for the recipe, I'll give it a try

                    1. re: Joe H.

                      "I only mentioned the Michelin restaurants to give credibility to this since few if anyone on this board know me or what my values are."

                      Joe H., we've been following your posts from burgers to BBQ, cream pie, boiled peanuts, your annual cross country business trip and beyond all around the world (I remember di Vinus if ever I make it to Florence).

                      And if I have mixed you up with another Joe H. then my apologies to both of you.


                      PS - Congratulations on winning the prize.

                      1. re: wrayb

                        PPS: thanks for all the precision in the recipe.

                        I don't know when I might be able to assemble the ingredients for your recipe but your precision will help me garner some measure of success on some more mundane risoto formulas.

                          1. re: wrayb

                            Hey Joe, don't let the assholes get you down. I intend to make this recipe this weekend. I'll post my reaction next week. Keep on posting, I enjoy the information you provide and your style of presentation.

                          2. re: Joe H.

                            Joe - I've made risotto before and it's always been delicious. I guess I have thought of it as basically a homey Mama's dish that is something a child could enjoy, yet that did have the potential for almost unlimited subtlety depending on one's access, or lack of access, to exquisite ingredients.

                            I try to use good ingredients and I always use Italian arborio rice, good broth, good wine, but not great wine. I think my favorite so far is porcini mushroom risotto made with dried mushrooms. But, I've got a question for you about texture. My understanding is that risotto should be kind of soupy, the individual grains of rice not really coalescing into one cereal-like mass, but separated by the liquid, which is about the thickness of a cream sauce that just coats the spoon and you can draw a line through with your finger and have it remain. So, if you pour the risotto in a bowl it would settle, rather then stay in a mound like mashed potatoes. I don't like it to be very cohesive or firm, yet I feel the individual grains should still be a little al dente. I guess I'm saying I think I see pictures of a lot of risottos that look like they may be overcooked and too gummy and mushy.

                            Would you talk a bit about the consistency of the perfect risotto, what it looks like when it is exactly done and not underdone or overdone.

                            1. re: Joe H.

                              No need for an apology. I tease my friends and family who thank me for a recipe and tell me they loved it.....but subtituted nearly every ingredient and came up with a totally different dish. I'm going to the store today and will look for exactly these ingredients to try it myself. I appeciate you sharing this, as well as the attention to detail. Risotto requires a lot of technique, so you need to be detailed if you want your friends to make this dish and have it come out the way it is intended. If you substitute ingredients and just wing it.....you'd probably end up wondering what was so special about this award winning recipe.

                          3. re: Joe H.

                            Ditto, galleygirl...and thanks for saying maybe three. My comment was only half-facetious. I found your exactitude a bit amusing because my wife so often tires of my own usually scrupulous attention to detail when trying a new--particularly a new and elaborate--recipe for the first time. OF COURSE, I would follow your recipe. I guess I just like to think that most 'hounds are happily acquainted with, for example, the distinction between Mountain and Dolce Gorgonzola.

                            Your recipe does sound trememdous, and I'm sure at the very least, if anyone does stray from your recipe, that they will know who is to blame if it doesn't turn out. Cheer up and relax. I will certainly let you know when I am ready to attempt (or rather after I have attempted) this dish. Thanks for sharing.

                            1. re: Joe H.

                              I can't wait to try this dish (though I need to make sure that I set aside a lot of time to work out afterwards). Thanks for the great recipe.

                              I understand why you're exacting. I make a chocolate souffle cake with Valrhona chocolate. When people ask for the recipe and substitute Nestle's chocolate chips for the Valhrona, they get upset. It can be very frustrating. Trust me, I won't change a thing except that I'll use a Le Crueset instead of an All-clad.

                              1. re: Jennifer J

                                Thanks for understanding and tolerating my obsessiveness, Jennifer.

                              2. re: Joe H.

                                I'm also militant about certain recipes but you've got to expect this type of response if you put in rigid guidelines.

                                1. re: Joe H.

                                  Joe H., your recipe is a keeper.

                                  But felix the dog? Your post was side-splitting.

                                  1. re: Joe H.

                                    Yea, it's a tough crowd around here. I've learned that the hard way too. But some kind and helpful folks as well. I for one will try to make this as you say sometime.

                                    1. re: scuzzo

                                      I was just in Amsterdam for my business and found a "slow food" cheese shop that an incredible bleu cheese: "bleu de Wolvega." This is an artisinal cheese that has a very limited distribution-it does not come into the U. S and is only sold in a handful of shops in Holland. I bought a kilo or so of it and brought it back packed in cryovac. When we opened it, wow! it is the best bleu cheese that I have ever had! Soft, smelly and extremely creamy. Now I am absolutely obsessed with buying more of it and presenting it before a dinner and then, later, as the feature of a risotto made with it. I'm also thinking of doing a "Bleu de Wolvega" dinner which would also incorporate a bleu cheese sauce for a steak as well as a major component of mashed potatoes. Still, this is a flavor and a texture that I think will do very well with risotto.

                                      All I have to do is travel back to Amsterdam and buy more of it now!!!! (It is 100% unavailable in the U. S.). That WILL happen. I just have to be patient until then.

                                      1. re: Joe H

                                        Have you tried cambozola yet? Just wondering.

                                        1. re: Joebob

                                          I haven't tried it but a friend did when he couldn't find dolce. He said the risotto was "ok" but not nearly as good as it was with the dolce.

                                        2. re: Joe H

                                          I am leaving for Amsterdam tomorrow. Can you tell me name or address of cheese shop? Thanks v much.

                                      2. re: Joe H.

                                        This reply is a few years late, but I have an apron given to me by one of my daughters that states, "I don't need a recipe...I'M ITALIAN." Precision in cooking is French, not Italian. Precision in baking is another story because baking is chemistry.

                                        BTW, i miei antenati non erano italiani.

                                  2. re: Aaron D

                                    No. It's just the pan that I'm use to using. But I would use a heavier sauce pan of about 3 to 4 quarts.

                                  3. Joe, maybe if I was as overbearing as you when giving people recipes they wouldn't say later that theirs wasn't as good as mine, as others have observed. And I don't hold back on ingredients or even observations on technique that I think contributes to the success of a dish! I make a gorgonzola/pistachio risotto that is darned good, but reading through your recipe I knew that yours is better. The adjustments I need to make are simple but I know the payoff will be big. Interestingly, while your tone initially put me off, it's also what kept me reading! What were you going to insist on next? That I stir standing on one foot facing north? By the end I'd gotten over being annoyed and decided I must try your way. I agree with you wholeheartedly about the quality of the stock making a difference in ANY risotto, but I'll still use canned broth in a pinch when I've got a jones for risotto and that's all that's easily at hand. Anyway, I'll be trying your recipe (when I've "earned" the calories!) and that's the point. Thanks.

                                    1. Joe,

                                      3 points / questions:

                                      (1) THANKS for the great recipe! I appreciate you taking the time to post. I have no problem with your "tone" - people need to lighten up.

                                      (2) Can you please provide a good recipe for making homemade chicken stock? I would very much like to see your ideas.

                                      (3) I am going to Italy this December (right after Christmas). I have bought Fred Plotkin's book "Italy for the Gourmet Traveler" and plan to follow many of his restaurant suggestions. Are you familiar with the book? If so, do you agree with his recommendations? Finally, could you provide me with some of your can't miss restaurants for Rome, Florence, Siena, Assissi, or Milan?

                                      Again, thanks for the great recipe. I would greatly appreciate any assistance you can provide me.

                                      Have a great day!


                                      5 Replies
                                      1. re: Jeff Rose

                                        I have used it but there are several others that I find myself more attracted to since they are updated annually. Both are superb and suppliment Michelin.
                                        1. Gambero Rosso which is www.gamberorosso.it/e/index.asp
                                        This is a definitive source for Italian restaurants as well as the best enotecas, hotels, gourmet shops, markets, etc. It is superb. They also publish several books. Unfortunately only one of them (for Rome) is in English. Yet they give numerical ratings for all of the restaurants and have a top list which they call "Tre Forchettes) or three forks.
                                        2. La Guida d'italia 2000 whose link is below. This is similar to Gault Millaut (sp?)as well as Gambero Rosso and also assigns numerical ratings to restaurants throughout Italian. It is in Italian but again, you can use the numbers.

                                        Along with Michelin you will pretty well have the country covered and can compare three opinions (either listings, stars, forks or numerical ratings) for a restaurant.

                                        Plotkin provides detail. But there are other books that also provide detail such as Capalbo's The Food Lover's Companion To Tuscany. Truthfully there must be at least seven or eight books written by individuals who have literally eaten their way around Italy. I would just go up to Barnes and Noble or B. Dalton and spend some time looking through what you kind find. There's a lot.

                                        I've been to about half of the currently listed "Tre Forchettes" in Gambero Rosso and Dal Pescatore and Al Soriso two of the three Michelin three stars. I have also been to numerous other excellent restaurants from Rome north.

                                        Dal Pescatore is the restaurant John Mariani called "The Best Restaurant In The World" in Esquire three or four years ago. It is an experience that you should go out of your way to have. It is in a crossroads town 10 miles or so from Mantova on a road that passes through farmland. The entrance to its courtyard is on the side of a building and easily missed. When you pull into the courtyard you'll note chicken feathers everywhere. In fact when I came back to my car four hours later I had left a window open several inches (it was a hot day) and the front seat had a fine layer of them covering it! There are eight four seat tables in the restaurant and the couple who own it are absolutely obsessed with even the smallest detail. The wife is the perfectionist chef and the husband is the perfectionist host and sommolier. They are both superb at what they do. If you go order the tasting menu (it's about 100 EUR) and trust what shows up.
                                        Le Calandre is a Michelin three star that has its own website, www.calandre.com. There are many pictures plus the current menu and prices. This may be the best restaurant in Italy right now; if not it's certainly one of the most creative.
                                        Gambero Rosso (the restaurant, no connection with the guidebooks) was rated highest by both the Wine Spectator (for food about four or five years ago) and Tre Forchettes this past year. It is on the coast near Livorno and absolutely superb. Two stars but for food it should have three.
                                        La Pergola atop the Rome Hilton is a Michelin two star and a Tre Forchette. It is expensive and superb.
                                        Vissani, about 75 miles north of Rome, I believe is the most expensive restaurant in Italy with a prix fixe of about 150 EUR. It has two stars, is a Tre Forchette and has the highest food rating of 19 (out of 20) in La Guida d'italia. It also has a number of detractors who feel it is grossly overpriced. It's chef/owner is a celebrity and well known. One of the primary criticisms I feel is justified. The dining room is very "stiff" lacking a real friendliness. Perhaps too formal.
                                        Some of the best meals in Italy are ones you discover by accident knowing nothing about the restaurants only having a feeling when you walk or drive by and look in the window. When you've discovered it yourself it makes it even more special. For me di Vinus on the "other" side of the Arno in Florence is like that. (about a five or six block walk from the Excelsior or the Grand). I've posted about this in the past.
                                        Any stock made from scratch is good. I actually like most of Emeril's. In fact his beef stock if cooked down for 12-15 hours (from 12 quarts to 1 1/2) is incredible. Of course any good beef stock cooked down like this should be!
                                        Again, I didn't mean to be so authoritarian in the original post but I have several friends who have made my risotto and it didn't taste like mine or lacked the texture. Reasons have varied from generic arborio to mountain gorgonzola to margarine to reggiano that sat already shredded (by the store) in a refrigerator for a month. The "art" of making this is also in knowing when to add more stock and that almost has to be learned by trial and error. I've actually watched risotto be made in several excellent restaurants in Italy (Battibecco in Bologna) and noted everything from the chef will sometimes push the pan back and forth as well as stir. It's really kind of hard to nail the texture (i.e. each kernal of rice can be distinguished within the overall creaminess) but when I compared my risottos that turned out with those that were not as good I could ususally trace differences in my style as well as the ingredients.
                                        Last comment about chicken stock: I had my first colonoscopy last year! (God, what a topic for now!!) But, in preparing for it I bought six different brands of canned, frozen and packaged stock and broth. I tasted all of them, sometimes one spoon after another. (Trust me I dreaded this exam and the thought of doing a broth sampling allowed me to endure the preparation.
                                        )The difference in taste was amazing. Really amazing. Some were much milder than others. The frozen stock whose name I don't remember which is why I said $3.99 is actually very mild. But this lets the flavor of the cheese through. Health Valley was much stronger. Point is that different styles of stock serve different purposes. If I don't make my own stock I'll go to a local store (Sutton Place Gourmet) where they have real homemade stocks from their own kitchen for sale. But these tend to be somewhat mild which is fine for this.

                                        Link: http://www.guidaespresso.espressoedit...

                                        1. re: Joe H.


                                          Thanks for the wealth of information. I will definitely be following up on your excellent suggestions. Talk about taking time and going out of your way to answer someone's request for help!

                                          I am very excited about my upcoming trip to Italy (my first). I will be focusing in on the food (along with the art and churches/cathedrals). Your information will be a huge help to me.

                                          Thanks again for everything!


                                          1. re: Jeff Rose

                                            Thanks, Jeff. Remember, wine is about half the American price when you buy it there. And don't hesitate to bring back a number of bottles. Also, if you're into wine try touring some of the Tuscan wineries. In December and January they will make the time to see you at many of them. Just fax them first.

                                            1. re: Joe H.


                                              You are reading my mind! I am a wine "newbie" but am definitely planning on taking full advantage of the wine opportunities in Italy. As a wine newcomer, the two first types of wine I have come to appreciate are Chianti and Australian Shiraz. I am really looking forward to trying the full range of Italian offerings.

                                              I am also planning on bringing back several bottles. Do you advocate bringing them back with you or mailing them home?

                                              Again, thanks.


                                              1. re: Jeff Rose

                                                Bring them back with you but pack them safely, wrapped in towels or clothes you've worn.

                                      2. Jim, I don't think your recipe is all that great. I took all the ingredients like you specified and combined them all in my new pressure cooker. I opened things up 12 minutes later and it really didn't taste all that great. I can't figure out what I did wrong, maybe I had the pressure to high...
                                        Just kidding, thanks for the excellent recipe. I'll have to give it a try after some precision shopping missions.

                                        1. I respect your love of great food prepared to exacting standards. Far to many times have I experienced a mound of sticky rice passed off as "risotto" in fine restaurants.Unfortunately your detailed directions and insistance on quality ingredients will fall on mostly deaf ears. However, those that truly appreciate well prepared food will heed your advice to the fullest and experience a true culinary treat.I, for one, would enjoy a few more of your receipes!!!!!!

                                          1. I've never made a risotto before (I keep misspelling it, too) and that is partly because I was intimidated by it. Risotto = holy grail.

                                            I shall make this one because the precise directions go a fair piece towards banishing insecurity.

                                            And as a person who prizes good results and precise directions very highly, I want to say, take whatever tone you please, as long as you keep these recipes coming.

                                            And don't let a few slings and arrows deter you.

                                            1. It sounds delicious. How many is it SUPPOSED to feed? Should there be any left over, how long will it keep? Any suggestions about prepping the leftover portion?

                                              8 Replies
                                              1. re: mc michael

                                                In theory the amount of rice should serve four to six. Having said that this is really a Thomas Keller style dish with a small number of bites before you are almost overwhelmed by the richness and flavor. This may be as calorically intensive as anything you've ever had.
                                                I serve eight with this as a course of a meal. There is enough however to serve as many as twelve with adequate portions which might mean seven or eight bites each.
                                                This is superb cold. The texture is virtually identical to butter when eaten out of the refrigerator. (not an exaggeration) Whether it's heated in a double boiler or microwave it loses an awful lot.

                                                1. re: Joe H.

                                                  You know I have too much time on my hands when I've spent WAY too much of it today working on reducing your recipe! A culinary "victory" I'm most proud of is parsing recipes--almost any recipe--to feed one. I've lived alone most of my adult life (let's just say that's considerable as I left spring-chickendom behind quite some time ago) and long ago rejected the notion that I could only enjoy certain dishes when I was feeding others. Sometimes I crave something today and nobody's coming to dinner. And as heavenly as your butter-like leftovers straight from the fridge sound, I do think the full recipe would take me a week to eat and perhaps put me in the hospital! So, I will experiment and am determined to succeed. Then I'll make the full deal for company. Not only have you titillated my tastebuds, you've challenged my recipe reduction skills to boot.

                                                  I do have one question for you. Can you describe the finished texture you're getting with what I'm figuring as 3 1/2 cups of liquid (stock and wine) to 1 lb. of rice? An earlier poster commented that she or he generally found they used more liquid than a recipe specified and that's been my experience as well. Would appreciate your feedback. Thanks.

                                                  1. re: Dee Gustay

                                                    I got in trouble on this board for insisting that the recipe be followed to the letter. I also respect your ability and experience in reducing and/or adapting recipes. I also was single until I was 40, now I'm 55, so I understand both cooking and dining alone. (I travel about 125 days a year and have a number of stories about making reservations "for one" in foreign countries.) I also understand that it costs around $50.00 to make this with gorgonzola dolce @15.00/lb, reggiano @$13.00, Kate's butter @$6.00/lb, vialone nano @4 to 5.00 in the U. S., 1 and 1/2 cups of $15.00 chardonnay, etc. But I have no idea what this will taste like or what the texture will be like if you change or halve the amounts. (The texture is very thick and creamy (NOT runny) but there are still individual "kernals" of arborio that you can discern in both taste and that you can see; it will thicken a bit more as it sits. Cold it's consistency is virtually identical to butter.)I only know how it tastes when I make it. That's all that I am asking you to do the first time you make it.
                                                    Please. Don't experiment the first time. Any other but not the first. It's hard enough to get the texture down using the same amounts each time let alone trying to adjust them. I've had risotto in numerous restaurants that reminded me of creamed corn in consistency. In learning to make risotto I learned to judge when the arborio had absorbed the proper amount of liquid so that I could add more. There's also a way it should "look" in its consistency in the pot at each stage. This just comes with the experience of making it. For me, honestly, to begin to dramtically adjust portions would be like starting over and I personally would not want to risk wasting the effort or the expense. Please excuse my inflexible attitude.

                                                    1. re: Joe H.

                                                      Thanks for the feedback. BTW, I checked the Robuchon recipe and it's l cup of butter to 2 lbs. potatoes and a cup of milk, give or take a bit as you like. But you can double the butter if you want them really rich! I think it was my sister who once noted, "Why bother with the potatoes? Can't we just eat butter?"

                                                      1. re: Joe H.

                                                        You've mentioned several times knowing "just when to add more liquid." That seems to be a crucial aspect in nailing a risotto, and one that's more intuitive than scheduled. Any advice for a relative risotto novice?

                                                        1. re: Aaron D

                                                          You stir until there is no longer even a 1/4 tsp size "pool" of liquid that is visible. There may be a few drops but no more. On the last addition of stock there will be no drops, no liquid at all visible. Also remember that because you are constantly stirring you are not allowing the opportunity for the rice to stick to the bottom of the pan or harden on it. But what you will be looking at will be creamy, not runny, but sort of VERY HEAVY CREAMY. Then add another ladle of stock and repeat this process. I haven't timed it because the heat can vary from one burner to another of course but my guess is that there are about two minutes or so between ladles. Also, don't stir too fast. You don't want to "mush" the rice. Using a wooden spoon helps this. I'm finding it hard to describe this in words, in fact it reminds me of when I first start making risotto. If we were standing side by side looking at the pan I could point out exactly the stage I am talking about and you would easily recognize it.
                                                          The trick of risotto is retaining its texture and that texture is to have all of the individual kernals of arborio still visible in the thick, heavy creaminess. When I finish cooking I actually let it sit for about two minutes before serving which allows the risotto to sort of "set."
                                                          Two very important points:
                                                          1. Your goal is taste. I think that's easy with the ingredients noted.
                                                          2. Your goal, which is equally important, is texture. That is what is so difficult to find and where I use the word "art" to describe making this. There's not a crunchiness to the arborio but there is a definite contrast of the smooth kernals of soft arborio within the heavy, thick creaminess of the overall risotto. Terrible analogy but like riding a bicycle or tossing pizza dough it's difficult in the beginning but once you get it down it becomes second nature. Like with a thick steak on the grill you can touch it and look at it and know how much its cooked. With the steak you don't have to constantly stand there. The risotto you do.
                                                          And that's why few restaurants do it correctly. You can't get the texture without the constant attention. Taste yes. But not the texture.

                                                        2. re: Joe H.

                                                          You've convinced ME. I won't even try your recipe unless I'm willing to chuck the leftovers or eat icy rice for weeks.

                                                          Back to the pressure cooker.

                                                        3. re: Dee Gustay

                                                          A true caloric investment that would be roughly equivalent to five (or six) banana splits, eight hot fudge sundaes or three four by fours with extra spread from In 'n Out. When eaten cold from the refrigerator the analogy with butter is really quite appropriate.

                                                          As a side note didn't Joel Robuchon use three parts potato to one part butter with some heavy cream added for his incredible mashed potatoes? Or was it two parts potato to one part butter?

                                                    2. Joe, As I usually cook for less than this recipe serves, have you ever cooked it for a smaller number of diners?

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: Hunter

                                                        No. But the leftovers make seriously good munchies at three in the morning straight out of the refrigerator. My wife eats it for two days but it's not as good. I cringe when she presses the buttons on the microwave. I can't watch!

                                                      2. Joe, Can this recipe be cut in half? I am willing to follow this to the letter, but I'd like to try it for us at home before having it for company. If not, I'll make the full recipe...and the 2 of us will eat ourselves to death! ( and probably die happy!) Thx

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: susan

                                                          I've never halved it. There have usually been neighbors or one of our cats (yes, our appropriately named Munchie likes gorgonzola risotto-although she doesn't eat the pistachio chunks) to help.

                                                        2. After reading all the responses to this recipe, has ANYONE tried making it yet??? I'd love to hear what someone thought of it!

                                                          5 Replies
                                                          1. re: Karen

                                                            My wife and I made this last Friday (4/12/02)evening. We deviated slightly by using another brand of wine but otherwise, all the ingredients were as specified. It was, as Joe said it would be, great! (Joe if you are spending $15.00 lb for this cheese, I can let you know who has it for under 9.00 lb). The only problem with following the recipe exactly is, we have so much left over (I can't imagine having a dish this rich day after day) we started going door to door offering our neighbors a taste treat. Joe, thanks again for posting and I also enjoyed your Vancouver story. I'm going there this summer so I am forwarned.

                                                            1. re: stray gator

                                                              You got a great buy on both the reggiano and the dolce. Thanks for trusting me and taking the time to make it. we've done the same thing by the way. I'll make it now for a group but before we never could eat more than a third of it and then we'd share some of the remainder along with eating it cold ourselves the next day. Thanks also for reading my Vancouver experience. When you go you should include The Cannery as one of your stops. It's a very good restaurant but the atmosphere is way over the top.

                                                              1. re: Joe H.

                                                                Joe, would it be possible to halve the recipe? We're just two light eaters at home, and our neighbors are all crazed fratboys who really wouldn't appreciate such a dish.

                                                                Also, you mentioned that it calls for a specific kind of arborio rice. What's the difference between the different kinds? Do you know what brands the right kind of rice is sold under?

                                                                1. re: Lindsay B.

                                                                  I wouldn't change the recipe one bit. The different kinds refer to the size of the kernal which can effect texture. Carneroli, as an example, is shorter and thicker and lends itself to a creamy consistency. Use either vialone nano or carneroli which are sold under several brands in the U. S. in gourmet food shops or Italian delis. I've never used "generic" arborio knowing that every good risotto I ever tasted specified either carneroli or vialone nano. In Italy I've found several chefs who are quite passionate about which kind of grain to use. They all insist on one of these two.
                                                                  But remember my intention was not to merely make a good risotto. It was to make the best. I sourced it appropriately.

                                                                  1. re: Joe H.

                                                                    Joe is so right about the quality of the rice being essential. This is one place where Trader Joe's or other bargin price rices will let you down. The Washington Post did a write up several months back on risotto and their conclusions were the same as Joe's, don't cut corners on the rice.

                                                          2. Having just made this recipe (with the assistance of a Michelin one-star quality professional chef), I can only add this:

                                                            (1) It is indeed delicious -- very, very good.
                                                            (2) I would keep the chop on the pistachios fairly rough and probably use closer to 3/4 cup. This is a matter of personal taste.
                                                            (3) Let's be honest -- there is no earthly way that you can get 1 1/2 cups of wine and 2 cups of stock to be enough liquid for a POUND of rice (we used Carneroli). We had to stretch with water (which wasn't a problem and didn't affect the flavor). I think 2 cups is not nearly enough.
                                                            (4) We thought this might be improved (and nicely garnished) by adding a small amount of shaved or thinly sliced prosciutto on top.

                                                            Thanks for a great recipe

                                                            10 Replies
                                                            1. re: Andrew W. H.

                                                              Water??????????????? Aargh!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                              I've made this over one hundred times and never had a problem with two cups of stock and one and one half cups of chardonnay. Forgive me, but you still haven't eaten it. The rough chop on the pistachios is fine; I probably want some chunks for texture. But I've never had a problem with texture. I've even made this for Roberto Donna (James Beard Award winning chef) as well as a dozen or so people on Chowhound. Water is going to dilute the creaminess, thinning the overall consistency. Mauri gorgonzola dolce (A. G. Ferrara, Wegmans, Sutton Place,Balducci) is also the best dolce to use with this. I have a strong feeling that you, as well as Roberto who watched me make it and told me that it was going to be too rich, "chickened out." This is an extremely intense, rich, fat laden (!) composition that most people only eat 8 to 10 bites of. That recipe will serve as many 16 people. Still, Roberto's wife, with her first bite softly moaned! He had thirds!


                                                              1. re: Joe H.

                                                                Bless you Joe H. I had wondered about the amount of liquid too and been afraid to ask.

                                                                I have never made risotto and I wonder if you could suggest a recipe to start out on, so that I can build my technique before attempting to scale the heights of your masterpiece. I usually rely on Joy of Cooking for basic techniques but I think that this may be out of their depth.

                                                                1. re: john clark

                                                                  Honestly, this is no more difficult than any basic starter recipe. Stir continuously (I use a wooden spoon) over moderate to high moderate heat (6 on a scale of 10 on an electric range); the only trick is knowing WHEN to add more liquid. Still, this is fairly easy: when you no longer see even small "puddles" or large drops of liquid it is time to add more. This is going to be very creamy; not quite cream corn but thick creamy, if you will. What happens after you add the gorgonzola (1st), then butter and grated reggiano and pistachios is that it actually thickens somewhat.

                                                                  Probably the most important thing about this recipe is sourcing the ingredients. Violane nano are shorter, "fatter" kernals of rice as opposed to carneroli. There are differences from one brand to another just as there are SIGNIFICANT differences from one brand of gorgonzola dolce to another. Note: Not just different types of gorgonzola but different brands of gorgonzola DOLCE. Mauri is the best. Reggiano also varies somewhat. Chicken stock matters, good chardonnay. It all comes together in this.

                                                                  I organized a dinner at Laboratorio in D. C. last November or 30 Chowhounds. I am going to do it again this year. Roberto suggested that I make this risotto for the group. I probably will! Point: I'm willing to put my neck and bs on the line that this IS that good.

                                                                  Start with this. When it turns out you're neighbors will hate you, you'll be bragging so much! Don't be afraid of it-just have a strong forearm for stirring and a lot of money for buying what goes into it!

                                                                  Then, after you master this, you're going to have to try my 26% butterfat caramel pecan hand cranked homemade ice cream which is to ice cream as this is to risotto.

                                                                  1. re: Joe H.

                                                                    I will attest to these three facts: 1. This is NOT a difficult recipe from a technique standpoint. 2. It SHOULD be followed without variation from Joe's ... umm ... slightly detailed recipe. and 3.) It is the BEST damned risotto I have ever made, and one of the top two or three I have ever eaten.

                                                                    I will disagree with Joe on two points: 1.) I think sauvignon blanc is better than the recommended chardonnay, and 2.) There is no earthly way I could ONLY eat eight to 10 spoonsful of this at a sitting!

                                                                    Go see your doctor about an effective statin medication to keep you cholesterol in check. And then follow Joe H. to the wonderful pleasures of this dish.

                                                                    1. re: Kirk

                                                                      A man who, obviously, is in search of his own James Beard award!

                                                                      Thank you, sir!

                                                                    2. re: Joe H.

                                                                      Joe H. Did you ever post your pecan ice cream recipe? YES PLEASE!!!!!!

                                                                      1. re: abud

                                                                        Sorry for the month's delay-I didn't even realize that this thread was alive again. The recipe is the third post down on this thread:


                                                                        I'm actually making this ice cream for a dinner we're hosting on Saturday night. And, I've moved on to Grappa risotto...with toasted pistachios and Tallegio instead of gorgonzola dolce.

                                                                        1. re: Joe H

                                                                          THANKS! I'll be making both the risotto and ice cream at some point this month. Will let you know!

                                                                2. re: Andrew W. H.

                                                                  Thanks for the nice words. I have made this at least fifty times including for 10 or more people who post on here and several chefs in the D. C. area. I do use no more than one and one half cups of wine and no more than two cups of stock. You're right about the rough chop and the 3/4 cup of pistachios. I should also note that this is virtually as rich as butter; as a result the recipe really serves as many as, say 15 with seven or eight bites each. When it is refrigerated the texture is similar to butter.

                                                                  1. re: Andrew W. H.

                                                                    I agree about most of what I see is now very outdated info. I must come in here more. The liquid, yep, not enough. The rough chop on the nuts, nice idea and good touch and yes, anything meaty on the appearance of a shard sparingly, would be perfect.

                                                                  2. I have coveted this recipe in my head for the past 2-3 years since I read it on this board. Last night we finally got around to trying it out. It was my husband's birthday, so we spent a day and a half shopping around for all the ingredients - we stayed fairly close to Joe H's ingredient specs but made a few calculated deviations eg. peccorino romano instead of parmesan and half gorgonzola dolce and half another kind of extra creamy Danish made Spanish blue, trader joes preshelled pistachios and trader joes risotto but otherwise stuck to the proportions and ingredients recommended.

                                                                    Wow this was the best and richest risotto we have ever had!! There were 5 of us and we were making noises with every delicious bite.

                                                                    We had a 3 1/2 hour meal - starting with a salad of watercress, baby spinach, caramelized fig "cake", fresh fire roasted red peppers and honey tangerine sections dressed with evoo and balsamic glaze - a really tasty and pretty salad.

                                                                    Then we moved on to roasted garlic sour dough bread with evoo and reduced tamarind juice (like balsamic glaze with the tangy tamarind taste)

                                                                    next were those wonderful pale green italian olives that are like eating bites of pure olive oil. I forget what they are called but they are not salty at all and a very pretty bright green color.

                                                                    These were the nibbles as we were preparing the risotto. It was a team effort with lots of sharing of the stirring duties and glances to see when the next ladle full of chicken stock needed to be added. Of course we kept tasting for doneness and magically it was so obvious when it was ready.

                                                                    Dessert was white stilton with cranberries and an English cheese called with sweet seedless green grapes.

                                                                    We drank Moet White Star, the rest of the 1.5 liter bottle of Beringers Founders Estate Chardonnay (which was really quite good and not bad at $19 for the bottle) and a bottle of Long Island Pindar Merlot.

                                                                    We basically groaned good night to each other and spent today reminescing on how good the entire meal was and how much better it was spent with the people we love...

                                                                    This is an ancient thread but a recipe really worth trying. Thank you chowhound and Joe and my good memory!

                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                    1. re: tigerwoman

                                                                      Wow, two and a half years later and I just read this for the first time. Thanks for the really, really nice words!!!!!!!!!!

                                                                      1. re: tigerwoman

                                                                        wish I knew you. I'd have adored being invited to this spectacular meal, sounds perfect!

                                                                        1. re: tigerwoman

                                                                          i think the olives you had were lucques (my favorite) :)

                                                                          1. I don't know how I stumbled across this - I think someone revived a related thread that eventually pointed back here.

                                                                            Anyway - I'm inspired. I'm gonna make this tomorrow night, with a ludicrously-faithful adherence to Joe H.'s original instructions - just for fun. Did all the shopping today.

                                                                            I'll post afterwards to say how it turned out ;-)

                                                                            1. Wow, I'm impressed. After just thinking about another poster's request for a prosaic vegetarian chili recipe, you have definitely gotten my attention.

                                                                              Is "dolce" gorgonzola a brand or a type of gorgonzola? At one point you mention "grana" - is that an acceptible gorgonzola? I have Scotti brand arborio imported from Italy. Will that do? We're up to your challenge. I love it when people write fanatical recipes. Go on with your eccentric demands, we eat it up. Are your ingredients available at Whole Foods or Trader Joe's or other national retailers? Care to share your suppliers that might do mail order or have a website? Would you like to give us a sample menu to go with the "absolute best risotto"

                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                              1. re: niki rothman

                                                                                Dolce is a type of gorgonzola. I've used the Scotti brand arborio (haven't made this recipe) with good results, but don't remember whether it is a vialone nano or carneroli.

                                                                                1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                  Sorry, but I don't know what vialone nano or carneroli mean. Please translate.

                                                                                  1. re: niki rothman

                                                                                    Sorry - I believe they are diffent types of arborio - it would say the name on the box it the rice were one of those types.

                                                                                    Here's a link explaining - I may be wrong about those being types of arborio:


                                                                                2. re: niki rothman

                                                                                  The grana Joe mentions would be a substitution for the Parmagiano Reggiano, and he would not want you to substitute. Gorgonzola dolce (dolce means "sweet") is one type of gorgonzola and you should be able to find it at any Italian store or at upscale supermarkets.

                                                                                  I had forgotten about this recipe and wasn't able to make it back when it was first posted, so I'm happy the tread was revived!

                                                                                3. joe, thank you so much for posting this recipe with its wonderful attention to detail. i am a professional chef and I am most appreciative and admiring of all the time you have spent for our benefit. I do think your mention of hand shelled pistachios to be SO important as there are so many inferior pistachios out there in easy shopping land. i will look forward to making this over the holidays. thank you so much again for all your time. you are a very considerate person.

                                                                                  1. Okay, I made it! I am eating it now - it is lovely!!

                                                                                    For the posters above...

                                                                                    - Niki, arborio is the kind of rice used to make risotto, and both vialone nano and carneroli are specific types of arborio used for this specific kind of risotto. I personally have no idea what the difference is between them; on this one, I'm just blindly trusting Joe.

                                                                                    - I got most of my ingredients at Whole Foods. They carry Primoriso brand vialone nano arborio rice (in a medium-sized blue-gray cardboard box) and Lotus Foods brand carnaroli arborio rice (in a small mustard-yellow cellophane package). And they had dolce gorgonzola. These were the only tough-to-find ingredients; everything else is easily available.

                                                                                    - And I got Plugra at Trader Joe's. I';ll never understand why WF doesn't carry good butter. (At least, *my* WH doesn't.)

                                                                                    This was super-fun. Easy to make and fricking' delicious. Thank you, Joe :-)

                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: spigot

                                                                                      I'm pretty sure that arborio, vialone nano and carnaroli are separate varieties of short-grain rice, all of which can be used for risotto.

                                                                                      1. re: piccola

                                                                                        I googled, and you're right.

                                                                                        From italiancookingandliving.com: "While Carnaroli and Arborio are designated "superfino" (or "extra fine"), Vialone Nano is a "semifino" rice whose grains are capable of absorbing twice their own weight in liquid condiment. For this reason, Vialone Nano is ideal for preparing incredibly creamy risottos, to which vegetables, mushrooms, and/or meats can be added."

                                                                                        Thanks - I didn't know that.


                                                                                      2. re: spigot

                                                                                        Thank you, Spigot.

                                                                                        Violane Nano is a smaller, fatter grain of arborio by the way.

                                                                                      3. I make many Risottos --love the way you put it together (esp. the Dolce) -- However, I recommend warming the wine before adding it to the rice as cold wine(esp.if its from a fridge) can stop the cooking of the rice and can make a sticky and not smooth result -- thks for the work .

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: drobbia

                                                                                          Room temperature, but I agree-not cold.

                                                                                        2. I think I linked this on last month's "best risotto you've ever had" thread. A lot of us made it around the time Joe posted this. It's very very good. Very rich, small portions were plenty for my guests. It was also around the holidays, and I remember that I rolled the leftovers in balls and fried them like arancini. They were a great appetizer for a NYE party. Also, here's a very funny link to Torta Basilica's report on her attempt at the recipe:


                                                                                          1. well good grief. I would love to make this but have no idea where to get all these ingredients unless I go all over the country in my quest. I believe a good cheese store, like maybe in NYC I could get the cheese, the pricey wine I can find anywhere, the pistachio's unsalted may be a bit of a challenge, that explicite rice might be difficult too. Gosh, I have all the time to attempt it and guess now, I'm on a quest for the perfect ingredients.

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                              Yay! I am so excited to find this. I am making a Valentine's meal for my sweetie!!! I will report back! Thanks Joe!

                                                                                            2. Hi Joe!

                                                                                              We're going to try this again, although hopefully without mom putting the entire bottle of Chard in!! But, a question - I have about 1/2 lb of Gorgonzola Dolce & 1/2 lb of Cremificato, described in igourmet.com as "Gorgonzola Cremificato is a creamy cow's milk blue of quality unrivaled by other young or "dolce" Gorgonzolas. Although innoculated with the same blue mold found in spicier blues like Roquefort, this delicate, soft, and unctuous blue is mild and subtly sweet with fresh, grassy undertones. Gorgonzola Cremificato is the perfect dessert cheese and pairs well with Muscat or other similar fruity dessert wines." Will this work?

                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. re: torta basilica

                                                                                                Long after the fact and my sincere apologies-I was away from CH for awhile. I think the combination is fine. I also make a quatro fromaggio risotto which uses Reggiano, gorgonzola dolce, Tallegio and any of a half dozen cheeses for the fourth that I can find.

                                                                                              2. I would love to try this, but you make it known that any thing other than the recommendations of ingredients isn't acceptable. Would it still be good if I tried it anyway, with ingredients that aren't up to par with your recipe? I'm dying to do this...but am afraid if I do and I report back using what I buy instead of yours, I'd be wilted in no time.

                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                  Please see our first attempt, involving mom, much more wine, broth and less gorgonzola:


                                                                                                  We tried it again the other night - same cast of characters, plus 2 more innocent bystanders. We followed the recipe EXACTLY, with the exception of 1/2 of the cheese being Cremificato, which I believe is actually an even more upscale Dolce, so think we were fine there. It was delicious, but... I hate to say, we all agreed we liked the 1st version better - a little lighter & more 'rissottoy' - not so much like melted cheese with risotto bits in it. Of course, the amounts of wine consumed the 1st time may have affected our judgement... I've got to say the leftovers have been delicious, though!

                                                                                                  Feel free to try both versions and report back...

                                                                                                  1. re: torta basilica

                                                                                                    Leftovers made from my recipe have the consistency of butter. My sincere guess is that the recipe will actually give as many as 15 or 16 servings because this is a dish that is really all about 9 or 10 bites. Interesting to read this since I first posted it: I've probably made this 30 or 35 times now and along with the caramel pecan ice cream it is the best dish that I do. But it's really intense and horribly rich-but it is suppose to be. Somehow, someway, we have to find a way that my wife and I can make this for you, your mom and your husband. (Although we live in the D. C. suburbs we were married in Southern CA.)

                                                                                                2. I loved, no truly adored, your report. Very humorous and after being on the phone with the pain in the necks at T Mobile, I needed a good giggle. Thanks for sharing. I will make this. I am determined. My DH isn't really fond of risotto, never has really liked it much but if I give this a try, he'll attempt to eat at least some of it and that's all I'd ask for. In my neck of the woods these ingredients aren't readily available to me. I'll have to shop for a few weeks in various areas until I get all needed. When it's all assembled, I'll get in the kitchen and try it. And honestly, even if it's not too wonderful I will report back on my effort. How imperative is the wine in the recipe? I wonder if I could substitute water or broth for that ingredient. I don't drink alcohol any longer so...???...suggestions are should I just suffer through buying a pricey bottle of wine and sucking it up? Not the wine, the recipe as written?

                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                  1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                    You're welcome - definitely going down in family history annals! This is very different from your usual risotto - he may like it a whole lot more, or... he may like it a whole lot less. If you are gathering ingredients, be sure & get the gorgonzola dolce last - it doesn't last very long & sometimes needs to be used immediately. I got ours from igourmet, but the Cremificato (which is not the original recipe!) from Cheese Store of Beverly Hills. For the wine, he says Beringer or similar - we used J Lohr, which I think is better & retails for about $14, but I always buy it on sale - never more than $10, so not too much $$ "going down the drain!" Or, hand it over to a neighbor after pouring what you need! I do think the wine somewhat helps to cut the richness of it all... somewhat. Have fun & do report back!

                                                                                                  2. I made it exactly as you stated, tonight, and we've not had dinner yet, but it's ready.
                                                                                                    Along with it, the risotto, is a chicken dish from Epicurious today, and a cabbage dish also from Epicurious today, one episode later. I guess today was my day to experiment.

                                                                                                    I have been buying all the ingredients along the way and got the last few today. So, as is stated, it is a good concoction. For me, it won't be stopping any trucks. It's good, and I'm not sorry at all that I made it, went to the expense of getting everything that was perfect and pricey, and the effort. I love efforts like this, especially when the end result is incredible.

                                                                                                    I'm not sure if my husband will like it very much, he isn't fond of blue cheese no matter how yummy it is, and isn't a nut lover either, so, the pistachio's may fall flat on him too. I was tasting the dolce as I was breaking it up and gad it is soooo good, so creamy and worth every cent. My bottle of wine was $10 and I used Pleugra butter. My only concern was that it took more than the 2 cups of the organic stock [that I finally found]
                                                                                                    and yes, I measured the arborio to the letter and the olive oil is Lucini, as per Mario Batalli.

                                                                                                    I hope more people make this as a treat and an adventure. I will say, it's been a very fun night and one where I most certainly had to pay attention.

                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                      Thank you, il Divo! Now you have to try my Grappa risotto...

                                                                                                      1. re: Joe H

                                                                                                        Well Joe H, I do own grappa and it's from San Gimignano SP, so still not opened, but bet it's the best ever, I must read further to see if you posted that recipe too

                                                                                                        1. re: Joe H

                                                                                                          Joe, is that recipe for the grappa one on here already? If yes, where? if not, can you post please, my grappa is fermenting in the wet bar ;)

                                                                                                          1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                            iL Divo, thank you for asking. I'll try to post the detailed recipe when I have a bit more time. Essentially, it is Taleggio cheese (about half the amount of the gorgonzola), diced pear and Reggiano with something like a quarter cup of Grappa. The original was created by Fabio Trabbochi when he was at Maestro in the D. C. suburbs-it was a signature dish of his. Today, Fabio is chef de cuisine at the Four Seasons in Manhattan but I still make his grappa risotto. It is incredible. There is literally a small "pool" (OK, maybe a tblsp!) in the middle of the plate when it is served. I am NOT including this in the 1/4 cup! I will look up the recipe and post it-it just may take a day or two. Thanks for asking, iL Divo!

                                                                                                            1. re: Joe H

                                                                                                              Oh sure Joe, glad you'll look it up and post it.

                                                                                                              I thought it was posted here somewhere but that I'd kept missing it.

                                                                                                              Gad I was thinking my eyes were playing games with me ;(

                                                                                                      2. sounds wonderful..if i can find dolce gorg i will try it...will it be ok with stella gorgonzola? if thats all i can get

                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                        1. re: janebono

                                                                                                          No. Gorgonzola dolce is rich and creamy and almost "sweeter" if you will. Totally different from, say, Mountain Gorgonzola.

                                                                                                        2. I would love to try making this, but since I'm a vegetarian, I never use anything but veggie stock in my risotto. Might be considered heresy to the OP, but honestly, I can count on maybe two fingers the number of times I've had risotto from a restaurant that was as good as mine, so I'm pretty convinced that veggie is equal if not superior to chicken for risotto purposes.

                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                          1. re: nick_r

                                                                                                            Restaurant risotto: Le Calandre's "coffee" risotto, Roberto Donna's Alba truffle risotto and Fabio Trabocchi's Grappa risotto (which I now make).

                                                                                                          2. I can't believe this recipe has cropped up again. Risotto is a rice dish, not a butter dish, not a cheese dish. For a pound of rice, half a stick of butter and 4 oz. cheese is plenty. You would NEVER find a recipe like the OP's in Italy, and for good reason. If you want more flavor, add some mushrooms or shrimp, not tons of fats.

                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                              I'm with you on this one. It doesn't mean the recipe isn't good - I haven't tried it, so I don't know - but it's certainly over-the-top.

                                                                                                              1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                No it's not enough. We have a different purpose in what we are trying to accomplish. I am certain that your risotto is fine, perhaps truly delicious and with a wonderful texture. But I am going for something entirely different and you need the amounts that I note to achieve this. Yes, almost a POUND of gorgonzola dolce, yes, almost a half POUND of unsalted butter, yes a quarter + POUND OF Reggiano. There's approximately 6,600 calories in the recipe. There is SUPPOSE TO BE 6,600 calories in the recipe. But, split up 16 ways, that's only about 412 calories per portion.

                                                                                                              2. Hi Joe,

                                                                                                                I'm not sure if you still check in on your recipe, but it certainly seems to be the kind of thing legends are made of! I finally managed to find gorgonzola dolce, so I am ready to go. I came home tonight just in time to rescue the raw pistachios from my husband's greedy paws. I will let you know how it goes. Thank you for sharing and for your inspiration.

                                                                                                                7 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: Joe H

                                                                                                                  Hey Joe H, welcome back!

                                                                                                                  I have to say that I find it odd when people comment negatively on a recipe they have never actually made. But as someone who made your risotto back when you posted this, as you well know, I (and all of my guests) thought it was as wonderful and delicious as you told us it would be; in fact, we loved both the risotto, and the decadent crispy rice balls made with the leftovers. Thanks again for sharing your recipe and taking the time to note such specifics. The grappa risotto sounds just as amazing.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Rubee

                                                                                                                    Thanks for the really nice words, Rubee-they are much appreciated. I've made the grappa risotto before following someone else's recipe. I believe that the first time I make something from a recipe I should follow it exactly. Then, the second time, change as much as I can!!!!!!!!!!!! Anyway, this time I'm going to change several things and if it turns out, well, I've never been modest....

                                                                                                                    Of course nobody knows about the 400+ times that something didn't turn out! Thanks again.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Joe H

                                                                                                                      Tomorrow night I am making Sassacaia Grappa risotto with Taleggio, Forel pear and toasted pistachios. I have found six unsuspecting friends and one wife to be guinea pigs for my most recent incantation of this. If it turns out I will proudly trumpet it on here just as I did this recipe.

                                                                                                                      If it doesn't....you'll never hear another word...

                                                                                                                      1. re: Joe H

                                                                                                                        Not everything turns out the way one expects it too....

                                                                                                                        Having said this Emeril's "Drunken Shrimp" was amazingly good! This is the link for the recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

                                                                                                                        1. re: Joe H

                                                                                                                          I can't believe I've forgotten about chowhound, oops, and this recipe too.
                                                                                                                          This is the second time I've gotten that link for EL's Shrimp Borocho, drunk shrimp. My girlfriend, not a lover of cooking AT ALL, got a burr in her saddle and found this online. Created it for her daughters and they all went mad, or is it drunk, either way, she told me I had to try it too or she's not spickin to me agin. ;)

                                                                                                                          1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                            Where did you find green ginger wine?

                                                                                                                            1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                              In the D. C. area Total has it.

                                                                                                                2. I've been on Chowhound for years and somehow never ran into a JoeH post.
                                                                                                                  OMG! JoeH, I read 2 of your threads today! Between this risotto and the garlic bread -
                                                                                                                  I could die happy!

                                                                                                                  I can't promise to make your risotto right away, but when I do, I will absolutely follow your instructions (I get it, btw) and will report back.

                                                                                                                  Multi grazie!

                                                                                                                  10 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: Isabella

                                                                                                                    Thanks, Isabella for the sweet words. Do you have a hand cranked ice cream freezer which uses rock salt and dry ice? If so, the single best thing that I make is ice cream. I've done a lot of flavors but the best one is caramel pecan. This is the link which includes the recipe: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/293375 One correction to the recipe now that I've actually timed it: under step two boil the water with the sugar for approximately four and one half to five minutes (possibly quicker depending on the heat of your burner). This is really tricky because there's a "window" of about 30 seconds to nail it. Two or three of the first five times I made this I actually had to start over, having "cooked" it too long. I've never made this without using my White Mountain freezer so I have no idea how the texture will turn out using another freezer but the flavor of the caramel is outstanding. (This was another controversial thread by the way! I am trying to mellow in my old age...


                                                                                                                    Thanks again for the really nice words!

                                                                                                                    1. re: Joe H

                                                                                                                      I made this yesterday and duplicated the recipe list EXACTLY as Joe H describes. It was absolutely the richest, most decadent dish. Everyone loved it. Kudos to you Joe. There were only six of us, so there are plenty of leftovers. We are already looking forward to round two. And yes, the recipe sounds obsessive-compulsive, but the results are well worth it.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Joe H

                                                                                                                        Joe, I hope caramel pecan ice cream can be made in a newfangled ice cream all-in-one machine? It sounds an amazing recipe.

                                                                                                                        1. re: dolores

                                                                                                                          The custard that you are going to make should be the same-same flavor, etc. I just don't know about the texture. But be careful when you boil the sugar and water-that really is tricky to nail exactly the right caramel.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Joe H

                                                                                                                            Thanks, Joe. I just thought there was something prohibitive in making the ice cream in a self-contained unit, to which I just treated myself.

                                                                                                                        2. re: Joe H

                                                                                                                          this is truly rediculous that I'm on here today.
                                                                                                                          for the last several days, I've been in every store I can find that might/could/would/should sell ice cream makers. I've seen so many in my life but never had the notion of buying one, didn't see the point, I'm not an ice cream lover, but the husband, now that's different. And now you're talking about ice cream machines which I know in a short short while, I'll get one once found anyway. Any recommendations for make/model/

                                                                                                                          1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                            il Divo, a White Mountain freezer is as primitive as it gets. Literally, this is how our grand mothers and great grandmothers made ice cream. With rock salt and ice and slowly churning it then later packing it to ripen followed by further time in a freezer. This is what gives ice cream the incredible texture that no automatic machine can. I'll actually go so far as to say that the "absolute best" ice cream on the face of the earth can only be made with a freezer like this.

                                                                                                                            By the way, for the several who have sworn that one and one half cups of wine and two cups of stock is NOT enough: they are wrong. It is enough. I've now made this risotto recipe over 100 times and every time that is the amount of liquid that I have used and every time I have (immodestly) nailed the texture.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Joe H

                                                                                                                              it worked great for me, Joe. we loved it. i made it 2 years ago for a lovely valentine's dinner for my sweet boyfriend. i made a cedar-planked salmon alongside it. he loved it but loved the leftovers even more the next day - not sure if the complex tastes were matured over night or what...hmm...maybe i owe you a big thank you even, we are indeed now married, it just might have been what wooed him. ;)

                                                                                                                              1. re: lollya

                                                                                                                                That was great, lollya. Thank you very much!

                                                                                                                      2. Hello, Joe,
                                                                                                                        I tried this recipe last night. It was a different texture than I expected, but it was SOOO delicious. It sounds more complicated than it is; the shopping was the most time consuming. It was easy to make, and I made it while my guests were standing around freaking out about the fat content (they just don't get it). It was such a hit, that everyone opted for seconds rather than have dessert! BTW, I did follow the recipe exactly, and have no desire to modify it. A truly unique, rich, and tasty risotto--thanks!

                                                                                                                        8 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: laural

                                                                                                                          Thanks, Laura. It really is disgustingly rich. Having made it many, many times now I've found some variance with the gorgonzola dolce. Generally, the more veined, the "stinkier" the cheese is the better the final taste.

                                                                                                                          The shopping is a real pain.

                                                                                                                          I actually love to make this while having several friends standing near with all of us drinking wine while I stir. It's become a kind of therapy for me!

                                                                                                                          1. re: Joe H

                                                                                                                            the thread is still alive! i found this recipe looking for some valentine's dinner ideas. now, i have to say i REALLY appreciate the attention to detail and words of caution - i am the same way with recipes...my friends whine and moan that it didn't come out like mine, but what do you expect when you don't follow instructions?

                                                                                                                            anyway, that said...i am a vegetarian. i have both some homemade vegetable and mushroom stocks in the freezer for soups. both are mild and unsalted (i did that on purpose since i can always reduce later for a recipe that calls for a strong or dark stock, and salt is easy to add but impossible to remove). given that i can't eat chicken stock, i understand that this won't come out *exactly* right, but which would you recommend for this recipe? i thought the mushroom might be nice with the gorgonzola although i think the veg would change the flavor less. recommendations?

                                                                                                                            1. re: snickerus

                                                                                                                              I would probably use a vegetable stock that is not strong; I would not want to overwhelm the strong gorgonzola dolce. In fact that is what separetes this dish-the stronger the dolce (i.e. the smellier) the better the finished product. Still.....some chanterelles and portebellos mixed in with a mild mushroom stock might be awesome! I'd cut back a bit on the Reggiano but stick with the 14 ounces of Gorgonzola and the 1/2 pound of butter. Maybe two cups of grated Reggiano along with the mushrooms and the stock. I'm just wondering out loud: would mushroom stock be too strong? Mild mushroom stock might seem to work. Would it overwhelm the gorgonzola and the Reggiano? Somehow, mushrooms really seem like they would compliment the crunch of the pistachios and the intense creaminess of the cheese. Still, try it! Totally different, yes. But after 116 or so posts and 15 or 20 who have made this, perhaps it's time for a variation. Please, post on here your results. Sounds REALLY good.

                                                                                                                              And, I've moved on to Grappa risotto with pears and pistachios but that's another thread.

                                                                                                                              Thanks again.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Joe H

                                                                                                                                due to some scheduling issues around v-day, we had a last-minute early valentine's dinner last night. i made the risotto using half veg and half mushroom stock (which, i should have mentioned, is a wild mushroom stock). the cheese flavor totally came through but the hint of mushroom was a lovely complement to both the cheese and the pistachios. i used all the parm recommended, it was delicious! i could only handle a serving a couple tablespoons-sized....i'm just not used to such calorically-dense food. but it was wonderful, thank you for sharing this!

                                                                                                                                i served it with braised asparagus with some lemon-marjoram sauce, some broccoli rabe, and we ended with a salad of mixed greens with strawberries, a little of the grated parm and pine nuts, and a vinaigrette i made from reduced champagne vinegar, EVOO, shallots and fleur de sel. a wonderful dinner. thanks again!

                                                                                                                                1. re: snickerus

                                                                                                                                  Snickerus, I'm sorry for such a late response but I didn't realize that this thread was still alive-even a year ago!!! Still, I couldn't resist commenting on your comments about "calorically dense" food. This may actually define "calorically dense!!" But my sincere appreciation for your trying it.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Joe H

                                                                                                                                    I LOVE Gorgonzola Dolce and appreciate the difference between it and more aged Gorgonzola, but Dolce is not always easy to get/available. Would substituting Cambozola (readily available at our local Costco) be beyond the pale?

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Joebob

                                                                                                                                      Really interesting question since a good friend of mine in Oklahoma City asked this several days ago. I have not tried Cambozola but I'm guessing that, yes, it will work. Since I originally posted this seven years ago I've now made a similar risotto with a variety of cheeses AND with Grappa. The Dolce simplifies things but if you can't find it I wouldn't hesitate to try Cambozola. Just chop it into larger chunks and let the rice completely absorb it. Good luck!

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Joe H

                                                                                                                                        Knowing what a fastidious feinschmeker you are, tasting Cambozola would be worth your while (but not the bastard variants with mushrooms, etc.).

                                                                                                                        2. Joe H. I was loving the fact that I finally decided to make your risotto the same day you were featured in the Sunday Post Magazine! I have enjoyed your posts for years. But I am wondering about the amount of stock, and the "8-9 minutes" referenced in the recipe. I had to add almost a cup more stock and it took more like 40 minutes of adding and stirring and the rice was still quite al dente. Maybe my carneroli was old, I got it from the Italian Store. Anyway, the flavor was divine, it was just hard to get the rice beyond crunchy.

                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                          1. re: Amy B.

                                                                                                                            Amy, thank you for the very nice words. They are sincerely appreciated. I'm sorry about the texture of the risotto. For myself it really is two cups of warm stock plus the wine and it does take about 8 or 9 minutes of stirring. I'm not certain the effect out of date arborio would have but I've never had this end up "crunchy." For myself the real variant in flavor is the gorgonzola dolce. I've found that the kind of dolce can make a real difference in the finished taste. In the D. C. area Balducci's used to sell "Mauro" dolce but stopped a couple of years ago. This was a fairly deeply veined and "smelly" cheese that was intensely flavored. I've used Whole Foods' off and on for seven or eight years but the flavor is not quite as "deep" as Mauro. I've also tried Dean and DeLuca and Wegmans but the results have been similar.

                                                                                                                            My wife and I were in Italy in March and on a side trip from Venice went to Asolo where I found a salumeria which vacuum packed cheese for me to bring home. I wrote about this here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/605395 . One of the cheeses was an incredible gorgonzola dolce ("gorgonzola dolce della Dolomite") , the best I have ever had, which was particularly strong and creamy. I brought it home and made a fantastic risotto from it. I'd also bought some of the Whole Foods dolce and we tasted the cheese itself side by side with what I bought in Asolo. A surprising difference-they almost tasted like different cheeses.

                                                                                                                            By the way there are other risottos that I will make that involve using twice as much or even more stock. This does work with just two and the cup and a half of wine. Thanks for trying it.

                                                                                                                          2. So, here I am, Terry-come-lately to this discussion, and after reading the recipe originally posted, and the comments/replies, and after preparing the dish TWICE, it is with some trepidation that I add my two cents. The back story is that I had dinner at "Il Pagliaccio" restaurant in Rome last month, and among the dishes was a pistachio risotto with MELTED CHOCOLATE in the middle (not a lot of chocolate). It was stunning.

                                                                                                                            A couple of weeks ago, I was preparing a birthday dinner for a dear friend, and I decided to try to replicate the dish from "Il Pagliaccio". In the course of my effort, I came across this posting and decided to try it, adding the chocolate in the middle.

                                                                                                                            As mentioned at the outset of my posting, I prepared this recipe TWICE. The first time, I did as instructed, and the dish was cloying, overpowering, and almost inedible. Calling it "too rich" vastly understates the excess. There was nothing enjoyable about this risotto.

                                                                                                                            The second time, I prepared a much more restrained version, and it was spectacular; it simply soared.

                                                                                                                            At the risk of starting up the teasing again, what white wine you use is irrelevant. It is a matter of taste, and pocketbook. Of course, don't use "two-buck chuck". Second, every dish any of us prepares will reflect the quality of the ingredients that we use, so use the best chicken stock you can afford or have the time to make. A high-end packaged stock is just fine - or buy a quart of low or no salt broth from a local Jewish deli, to save time. Third, please do NOT use all that butter. It will gag you to try to eat this dish, if you do. Fourth, make what I call the "basic risotto" however you please, as a matter of taste. Personally, I prefer two things that are a slight departure from most risottos, and I have made Lydia's risottos, Marcella's, Splichal's, etc. This is just my personal preference, and that is, I never use onions in my risotto. I only use finely minced shallots - minced, please, not "chopped". I also usually use only olive oil in lieu of butter. It makes the dish a bit more refined in my opinion, keeps the fat content a little lower (I know, I know; it's like eating low-fat ice cream), and lessens the cloying taste all that cheese tends to impart to the dish.

                                                                                                                            Having said that, in this instance, I used half olive oil and half butter in MUCH smaller quantities than the original recipe calls for, and I think the dish benefited.

                                                                                                                            Trepidation aside, I feel obliged to say that the amounts of gorgonzola and parmesan used in the recipe as originally posted, make the dish inedible, and as thick as wallpaper paste, or spackle.

                                                                                                                            When I made the dish the second time, in a more restrained manner, it was perfection on a plate, and the chocolate a la "Il Pagliaccio" made it more delicious than I could have imagined.

                                                                                                                            Do buy the best, freshest gorgozola dolce you can afford, and buy it at a cheese shop. not in the market. Why? Because gorgonzola dolce isn't that big a seller, so it sits and gets old in a market, but will be fresh, fresh, fresh at a cheese shop.

                                                                                                                            If you are dedicated to making this dish a part of your repertoire, experiment a bit to find your own "sweet spot" with the proportions. I found that, to a full pound of rice (two cups), a half pound of gorgonzola was plenty. Even a little less would have been okay. You can use caneroli or arborio; that is also a matter of preference. I generally prefer caneroli, but if the cupboard only has arborio, I won't make a special trip to the store for the "better" rice.

                                                                                                                            I found that a half-to-three-quarters-of-a-cup of grated parmesan was plenty (lean towards the half-cup). Though freshly shelled nuts are always better for any recipe, using a bag of pistachios that you then toast in the oven is okay, too.

                                                                                                                            As for how long to boil, and when to add the gorgonzola, that is also a matter of taste. I find that, when I make risotto, it is ready to eat at about eighteen minutes. I begin to taste every 30 - 45 seconds at fourteen minutes, and pull the pot off the flame as soon at that "moment" arrives.

                                                                                                                            I added the gorgonzola at the fourteenth minute, and worked it in over the next two minutes. The rice was done at sixteen minutes. I think it was done that soon because I used Trader Joe's arborio, instead of a higher quality rice. Better rice takes longer to cook just right, to the correct "crunch" factor.

                                                                                                                            Immediately after I pulled the pot off the flame, I mixed in the grated cheese and the pistachios. I put the risotto into individual bowls, added about an ounce (I didn't measure, I just put a few small pieces) of dark chocolate in the middle, and presented the risotto to eat. Spectacular.

                                                                                                                            P.S. I covered each bowl for thirty seconds, to allow the chocolate to melt. I'm guessing that it would have melted anyway, but I wanted to be sure that people didn't get served risotto with a piece of chocolate in the middle.

                                                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: terryd50

                                                                                                                              Wow -- chocolate and gorgonzola in the same dish! Love them both, but don't know that I'd be brave enough to try it.

                                                                                                                              1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                                As Emeril LaGasse is so fond of saying, "It's only cooking". Don't be afraid to try it. The absoltely worst thing that can happen is that you'll order in a pizza and have a good laugh!

                                                                                                                                1. re: terryd50

                                                                                                                                  Yeah, but at the price of good rice, Parm, and Gorgonzola, I don't want to feed it down the disposal.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                                    terryd50 and pikawicca, Over the past eight years I have made this perhaps a hundred or more times and have prepared it for numerous people, including many who post on here. To the best of my knowledge they are all still alive after eating it! Let's resolve this by saying that we have different tastes and values. I've read your comments and understand the substantial changes you have made; simply you are making an entirely DIFFERENT risotto. I also have not tasted what you originally prepared. Still, I prefer the the above recipe and understand that you do not.

                                                                                                                                    Perhaps it is best to say that we just have different tastes.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Joe H

                                                                                                                                      Well, of course all of your guests are still alive, as I am after eating what, to me, is a too rich, cloying, dish. I do not agree that I am making an entirely DIFFERENT risotto. I have simply modified a recipe that I think is too heavy, and have lightened it up. As the string of responses about this dish is considered to be a classic by the CHOWHOUND proprietors, I see where you are compelled to "defend" your recipe, and that's fine. That won't change the fact that I prepared your recipe EXACTLY as you instructed, and the results are what they are. That doesn't make you or me right or wrong. The addition of the chocolate is obviously just a conceit, meant to add a touch of sophistication to the dish. That, in a very small way, "alters" the dish as you conceived it. As for the "hundreds of times" you have prepared the dish over the years, I sincerely hope you are not suggesting that it always turns out the same, because that simply is not humanly possible. Not only are there variables of freshness of ingredients, of quality of ingredients, of the temperatures at which they were all stored in places over which we have no control (shipping pallets, cheese shops, manufacturing facilities, etc.), and even of the vintage of the very good wines you insist be used to prepare this dish, there are also the intangibles, such as the dog that barks and distracts us and takes our focus away from the dish for fifteen seconds, such as how many other dishes are we preparing at the same time that evening, such as the temperature in our own kitchens, or how many minutes more or less the gorgonzola is out of the refrigerator than the last time we fixed it, and so on, and so on. Many, many factors go into how a finished dish will present, and taste. The other night I fixed veal birds, using a recipe I have used for years (Marcella Hazan's), and the dish was most disappointing. Why? I cannot say. Same high quality veal, same excellent oilve oil, same cooking time at the same heat level. I think there can only be one of two explanations. I cooked the birds too long (unlikely, but certainly possible), or given that I only use free-range veal, and there is NO WAY to predict how "muscular" that cow became while grazing, the veal was tough. If I have the same experience again with the same butcher shop, I'll change meat-cutters and see if that helps. Otherwise, I have no explanation other than that I must have cooked them too long. I stand by my experience with your recipe, which shouldn't diminish your or anyone else's more agreeable experience. That is where differences in taste come into play, which is why I took the time to let others know of my experience. For some, it will validate their attempts with the dish.

                                                                                                                            2. I made my version of "Joe's" risotto last night, and it was delicious.

                                                                                                                              1 T. olive oil
                                                                                                                              minced shallet
                                                                                                                              1 cup vialone nano
                                                                                                                              1/2 cup dry vermouth
                                                                                                                              4 cups (approximately) homemade chicken stock
                                                                                                                              2 T. heavy cream
                                                                                                                              1/2 cup Parm
                                                                                                                              1 T. butter
                                                                                                                              1/4 cup gorgonzola dolce

                                                                                                                              I think of this as "Joe's Risotto" because I never would have thought of the yummy combo of Parm/Gorgonzola/Pistachios on my own.
                                                                                                                              1/4 cup chopped pistachios.

                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                              1. Joe H., I think your flavor combination is brilliant. I was just curious if you are in the culinary industry, as you sound very experianced. I have recently become a huge fan of risotto, and cannot wait to try your dish out.

                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: lamborghini15

                                                                                                                                  Thanks, lamborghini15, much appreciated. I am just obsessed with food and with 30+ years of heavy business travel, have tried to take advantage as best I can. I also grew up with food. My father was a chef and my mother was a waittress. I remember being 5, 6 years old and taking two hour+ drives because of a rumor that someplace had really good ..... My first job, at 15, was as a waiter. I am in Amsterdam as I write this (I live in the D. C. suburbs) but had fantastic frites two days ago (mayo, curry sauce and minced onions on top) along with a great Fontina cheese risotto last night. Others will remember Amsterdam in a different way: I'll remember the food.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Joe H

                                                                                                                                    Joe H., I am going to make your risotto in a couple of weeks and I am contemplating wether or not to use brown or white chicken stock. I plan to make my own, and I have a great recipe for each of them, but the question is which one to use for this dish. I understand that the stock must be mild so it does not overpower the main ingredients, but both brown and white stocks can be mild if made so.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: lamborghini15

                                                                                                                                      Instinctively, I would prefer white. Sorry for the delay but I've been travelling on business for a week or so. Good luck!

                                                                                                                                2. Thank you Joe H. for such a wonderful recipe. I made it a few weeks ago and enjoyed it immensely and wanted to let you know. We had a lot left over (there were only 3 of us) but had no problem finishing all of it in a couple of days.

                                                                                                                                  My only issue was that I felt it seriously lacked enough acidity. I think it was the wine I used, which may have been a little too flabby to cut through the richness of this dish. I ended up using lemon juice to perk it up. Have you ever had to do this?

                                                                                                                                  My complete breakdown of my experience making this recipe is here if anyone is interested:

                                                                                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: blissandfelicity

                                                                                                                                    blissandfelicity, thank you for the nice and sweet words. They are appreciated. Your gorgonzola looks excellent! Creamy, veined-if it is "funky" that a real plus!! I use a fairly good charddonay like Kendall Jackson or Beringer. I'll also use a frozen chicken stock that comes in an 8 ounce container and is sold by Balducci's or Whole Foods. I think it's called "perfect...."

                                                                                                                                    If you are really adventurous the single best dish that I make is ice cream. I have a 40+ year old White Mountain freezer that I hand crank and use rock salt and ice to freeze the cream, then wrap it in burlap for an hour or two then the freezer for a couple of hours more. This is my best flavor and my own recipe. I have never made it in anything other than the White Mountain so I don't know how another machine will influence the texture. Still, I immodestly believe it is the best ice cream flavor I have ever tasted along with excellent texture. I also make hazelnut where I toast and grind the nuts first and cinnamon raisin with the cinnmon made with heavy whipping cream and a cinnamon stick and the raisons macerated in Calvados.

                                                                                                                                    1. Pecans-saute 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans in
                                                                                                                                    2 tbsp. butter until lightly browned. Set aside.
                                                                                                                                    2. Caramel-1 1/4 cups heavy cream (not ultrapasteurized, regular pasteurized), 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1 whole stick organic/country butter
                                                                                                                                    In a heavy bottomed saucepan scald the cream ad keep warm. In another heavy bottom saucepan combine the sugar with 1/2 cup water over medium heat and stir until it dissolves and the liquid is "clear." Turn the heat to high and boil the misture, without stirring, until it is a light to medium amber color. (NOte: this is tricky and the key to correctly made caramel-not to cook this too long.) This took me about 7 or 8 minutes. Remove fro the heat and slowly stir in the heavy cream. Stir until smooth then whisk in the butter (chunks at a time) and let cool.
                                                                                                                                    3. Ice cream base: 2 cups heavy cream (pasteurized), 1 cup whole milk (NOT 2 or 1%, cream top if available), 6 organic egg yolks, 3/4 cup sugar
                                                                                                                                    In a heavy bottomed saucepan, scald the cream and the milk. In the top of a double boiler set over simmering water, whisk egg yolks and sugar. Add the scalded cream mixture, turn up the heat until the water is boiling and whisk the mixture continuously until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the caramel. Then fold in the chooped pecans.
                                                                                                                                    4. Let cool, then transfer to storage container and refrigerator for 8 hours +.
                                                                                                                                    5. For a White Mountain freezer pour the cream into the stainless steel cream can. Place this inside the wooden tub. Crush ice into fine particles and place a layer about three inches deep around the can in the tub. Sprinkly 1/2 layer of rock salt on top of this. Repeat with ice and rock salt layers until the freezer is well packed. Turn crank at constant speed until cream is frozen. After 10 minutes or so the cream will noticeably become firmer. Continue for a total of about 20 to 25 minutes until the consistency is one of soft ice cream. Remove the dasher and scrape the excess back into the container.
                                                                                                                                    6. To pack the ice cream in the container for hardening: place a sheet of wax paper over the top of the container, press the can cover down over this and plug the hole in the top with either a cork stopper or tape. Drain off water in wooden tub and repack with 5 parts of crushed ice and 1 part of rock salt until the entire can and lid are covered with both. Wrap and cover with a burlap bag and let stand until frozen or hard. Probably several hours. An additional hour in a freezer may also follow this depending on the desired hardness.

                                                                                                                                    Permalink | Report | Reply
                                                                                                                                    Joe H. Jul 04, 2003 01:14PM

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Joe H

                                                                                                                                      Thanks for the reply. I have seen your recipe for the pecan caramel ice cream. It's on my to-make list, although I probably won't be cranking it by hand!

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Joe H

                                                                                                                                        Dear Joe,

                                                                                                                                        If you happen to see this post: I have been contemplating your recipe in the back of my mind for nearly two years now. I am preparing a special birthday dinner in early November, and have decided to finally take on the challenge of your legendary risotto recipe, and am so excited!

                                                                                                                                        Three questions for Joe (or anyone who may have answers): a poster above mentioned that "Vialone Nano" grains are semi-fino, as opposed to fino (like Carneroli), and they implied that Vialone Nano is able to absorb more liquid. Do you think, then, that the recipe would be easier to prepare using the Carneroli, since it absorbs less liquid, and this recipe uses very little liquid? Should I avoid Vialone for that reason?

                                                                                                                                        Also: Someone else above mentioned something about "Joe's garlic bread." I know Joe posted his pecan caramel ice cream, but I never saw a link to garlic bread! Anyone have this?

                                                                                                                                        Finally: Someone asked Joe to post a "perfect menu" that incorporates this famed risotto, but alas, this never materialized. I would love some ideas for other courses that would perfectly compliment this risotto. Someone mentioned lemon/marjoram asparagus, which sounds good, but other ideas would be great! Thank you!!

                                                                                                                                        1. re: femmenikita

                                                                                                                                          Joe's garlic bread. The first Joe H recipe I ever tried. It's fantastic


                                                                                                                                          1. re: blissandfelicity

                                                                                                                                            Thank you, blissandfelicity! (great handle, by the way!) I really appreciate your nice words. I must also note that I walk 5 or more miles each day to work off the butter in the recipe!!! Thanks again.


                                                                                                                                      2. re: blissandfelicity

                                                                                                                                        blissandfelicity, to help cut the richness in this risotto, a highly acidic wine should be used. To know if a wine is acidic or not depends on the region and climate. Generally, the rule is a hotter climate will produce a sweeter wine, wear as a cold climate would result in a more acidic, dry wine. I would recommend a Chablis, as it is from a cold environment. I hope this explains the wine issue, but great idea with the lemon juice!

                                                                                                                                      3. I was talking to a fellow employee yesterday. Conversation was about food and cooking.
                                                                                                                                        This recipe was brought up by me for her to try. I doubt she will.

                                                                                                                                        1. I've been reading this thread for a while (not since the beginning) and every time it just makes me drool. I can now order gorgonzola dolce from DiPalo's in NYC so that was my only real hurdle. I would like to serve this at a dinner party where two of the people are vegetarians, not vegans. I've read that most vegetable broth is dreck. With all these wonderful ingredients, it seems like substituting water for the chicken stock would be fine. Does anyone have any strong opinions either way? Thanks.

                                                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                            I think you'd lose some depth of flavor. If you don't feel like making your own veggie stock, I'd use half and half water and Imagine brand "No Chicken Broth." (Making veggie stock is super simple, however.)

                                                                                                                                            1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                                              What do you put in your veggie broth? I also don't want something that's going to fight with the flavors in the risotto. Tx, p

                                                                                                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                parsley stems
                                                                                                                                                dash of soy sauce

                                                                                                                                                Saute the onions, garlic, celery, and carrots in a bit of oil until soft. Add everything else and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer one hour. Strain and chill in an ice water bath. If I have the time, I'll roast some of the veggies, for the added flavor. (I once made the mistake of using ALL roasted veggies, and the stock tasted like candy, it was so sweet.) I tend to make large quantities of stock and freeze in variously-sized containers.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                                                  Bless you, my child. I'll give it a whack.

                                                                                                                                          2. After asking for a substitute for chicken stock (and getting that assist) I've about decided to serve them something else and to make this dish as written. Joe H. is very persuasive, isn't he? Especially since I've read other things of yours. Thanks.

                                                                                                                                            8 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                              Please don't use water as a substitute for chicken stock. Even frozen "perfect ....." that Whole Foods sells for $3.95 or so for 8 ounces which you had a cup of water to will work well. Failing this chicken stock from a box that is labelled chicken "stock." Or, both Dean and DeLuca and Balducci's sell housemade chicken stock that may be the best of all.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Joe H

                                                                                                                                                I make my own stock but wouldn't use that for vegetarians so will serve a different dish that night and serve your risotto to true believers :)

                                                                                                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                  This is the polar opposite to my risotto recipe: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/672344 This is a post of mine from this evening which links a recipe which I believe, calorie for calorie, may be the best I have ever tasted. No, it is not quite as good as the gorgonzola dolce risotto. But it is also about, literally, one tenth of the calories.

                                                                                                                                                  I made a lot of it tonight. I ate mine, my wife's whose third helping was leftover and scraped the skillet. Please note that I doubled the linked recipe. Tomorrow night I will make this again. And Wednesday. And Thursday.

                                                                                                                                                  Friday, after all of this "dieting" I will be able to afford the risotto.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Joe H

                                                                                                                                                    Too funny. I just replied to THAT post. My husband found gorgonzola dolce at Whole Foods in Reno (We live at Lake Tahoe) so your risotto is now higher on my list. Easy to believe you GAINED that much weight considering your travels; harder to believe you lost it all again. Good for you. And, yes, that cod sounds amazing. Thanks again, Joe H.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                      Gorgonzola dolce is good in so many things, but I really like to eat it on its own, best of all.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                                                        Oh yeah. when we stay in our friend's apt. in NYC, we buy it at DiPalos and mostly just EAT it. I did once make a gorgonzola cream sauce for pasta. Double oh yeah :)

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                        Thank you, c oliver. I must note that there is a real variance from one dolce to another. This is a post of mine from April of this year about a trip my wife and I did to Italy which included a stop at the walled hill town of Asolo which is generally north of Verona: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/672344 As part of the stop in the salumeria I picked up gorgonzola dolce Dolomite which was made within an hour's drive of the store. I ate quite a bit there and then had over a kilo of this alone vacuum packed and carried back here. It survived the trip!!

                                                                                                                                                        When we returned I scraped off the herbed rind, ate part of what was left and, with the majority of it, made risotto! I cannot tell you how good that risotto was!!! Simply better/creamier/"smellier" than any dolce I have found in the U. S. although several years ago Mauro (sp?) was almost as good. Today, the Mauro (sp?) is gone, no longer available (for whatever reason) in the U. S. But the gorgonzola dolce Dolomite! Incredible! Just incredible.

                                                                                                                                                        Weight? In the early 2000's I had a number of posts on here about my weight loss which includes twice over one hundred pounds and a third time of about ninety. Most importantly, I have kept my weight down for almost thirty years now. Still, I've done strange things to accomplish this. Obsessively counting calories and walking in snow/rain/hail/golf balls are among them.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Joe H

                                                                                                                                                          Sorry, but this is the correct link to the post I mentioned above:

                                                                                                                                              2. I know this recipe is a really old post...but here goes... Joe H. gave me some great recommendations for a trip to Venice this fall (Il Ridotto!) and I've been thinking about making this risotto since I read this recipe. I have to say, I was slightly intimidated and frightened that if I made it incorrectly I'd be haunted for the next 10 years by the ghost of gorganzola risotto. Nonetheless, I defiantly decided to throw caution to the wind and use what was in the pantry. Don't call me a non believer, I know and appreciate really good food and ingredients. I was inspired to see how good this would be w/ what I had on hand, I did make some shortcuts and in fact made 1/4 portion of the recipe, but it was still really good. Next time I'll make it for guests and will make fewer (or none of) shortcuts. My point is...don't be daunted by it...I was quite happy w/ my versions made with red onions, some other creamy blue (cringe but I think it was a danish blue. I know, I know), and boullion - I know, I know, I was just really desperate for this dish and that is all I had access to. I was quite happy with it...I did have a cold though! Let's just say I can't wait to give the proper recipe a go...

                                                                                                                                                I ponder - have you made it with Roaring 40s Blue?...a gorgeously sweet and creamy blue from some Australian island. It is very dear...and gorgeous to eat off the knife, or with chocolate, or pretty much anything you can possibly think of.

                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                1. re: weezy1074

                                                                                                                                                  Thank you weezy1074 for the nice words! Originally, I made this as a quattro formaggio risotto and then saw a recipe from Roberto Donna in his cookbook. When I tried using gorgonzola dolce (instead of a combination of Taleggio, Reggiano, Dolce and I'd have to look up the fourth (!) ) I found that I loved it and that's what led to this. I love Roaring 40's blue. Over the years I've made this with a number of different cheeses including eppouisses, dolce carried on an airplane from Bologna and three or four different blues. Dolce is still the best of all, particularly Mauri gorgonzola dolce which is now almost impossible to find in the U. S.

                                                                                                                                                2. I have to say that this thread is still my all-time favorite at Chow. I happen to agree with the sentiment of taking risotto seriously. It IS an art.

                                                                                                                                                  I can not wait to make this. I have found most of the ingredients exactly as specified, but am still trying to source out the best possible olive oil and the vialone. I do have carneroli

                                                                                                                                                  I told myself that I would make this as my milestone treat for losing 20 pounds. I am halfway there! :)

                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: BabsW

                                                                                                                                                    BabsW, i have lost a multiple of 20 pounds over the years; unfortunately a large multiple!!!! Consider this a reward where the calories are worth it for some serious sacrifice. Thanks for your really nice words.

                                                                                                                                                    I should also note here that three times in my life I have lost one hundred pounds or more. I'm not proud of this but, still, every time that I desperately needed to, I lost the weight. Finally, thirty or so years ago, I lost what I needed and kept it off. By walking. I obsessively, compulsively, unfailingly walk 30+ miles a week. Every week. Over the years I've slipped on ice (shoulder surgery), been stung by three different bees (anaphylactic shock), smacked by hail and hit by a golf ball (I waved to the golfer...). But I still walk. And, I've kept the weight off. Don't give up, don't quit. But if you're really going to break the diet make sure the calories are worth it.

                                                                                                                                                    These are.

                                                                                                                                                    By the way I had a fantastic risotto in Munich a month or so ago made with Vacheron Mont d'ior, pear and speck. Incredible flavor. This is an artisinal cheese made six months or so out of the year which will not be available again until this Fall. The flavor was incredible! It is also a cheese that needs to be "scooped out" from the shell it is sold in. In the D. C. area where I live Whole Foods and Wegman's carry this during the Holidays. This Fall I will make it and if it turns out as I expect I will probably be raving about it on here!

                                                                                                                                                  2. This recipe sounds great, but I have no idea if I'll be able to make it. I live in Chile and so far have had no luck finding Gorgonzola Dolce (only have found two brands of Gorgonzola in very particular places so far)

                                                                                                                                                    I'm afraid the cheese nazi might take it upon himself to personally hunt me down if I use regular gorgonzola...

                                                                                                                                                    18 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: HayatoJin

                                                                                                                                                      P.S. Supposing I can find the cheese and attempt to prepare this, is it too terrible if I don't shell the pistachios myself? I've yet to see anyone selling pistachios in their shells that are unsalted; it seems like it's either salted or out of their shells.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: HayatoJin

                                                                                                                                                        The gorgonzola dolce is absolutely essential; "mountain" gorgonzola is a different cheese. This is far more important than shelling the pistachios yourself.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Joe H

                                                                                                                                                          I tried every single place I know of and here's the results:

                                                                                                                                                          On two different places, I found the "Madeghini" brand Gorgonzola (Didn't find Dolce anywhere, owner of a store that specializes in italian products said they don't import it because the sanitary restrictions are too tight for cheese.

                                                                                                                                                          He tried to sell me this Gorgonzola still, he told me while it wasn't proper Dolce, it wasn't anywhere near as aged as regular Gorgonzola. (I didn't buy it because I didn't really buy that)

                                                                                                                                                          Then, I went to another store and saw an actual piece of aged gorgonzola and it looked NOTHING alike, so I'm thinking maybe I _could_ try it with the Gorgonzola I found... I still haven't fully decided yet, but I'm considering it...

                                                                                                                                                          This is further sacrilege, but maybe if I used a somewhat smaller amount?

                                                                                                                                                          The cheese DID NOT look like this, http://www.tastingsgourmetmarket.com/...

                                                                                                                                                          And while it's closer to the medeghini gorgonzola you see in internet, it isn't exactly like that either, the one I saw comes in 150g displays and appears to have less mold.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: HayatoJin

                                                                                                                                                            HayatoJin, my best suggestion is to use any creamy, exceptionately smelly (!) bleu cheese that you can find. Even a quattro fromaggio which incorporates, say, Tallegio as one of four cheeses may produce a wonderful risotto.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Joe H

                                                                                                                                                              I am so glad this popped up again Joe. I have been meaning to make this for ages and forgot about it. I am putting it back on my food queue.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Joe H

                                                                                                                                                                Joe, I'm amazed and encouraged by your flexibility. I think that any mild and creamy blue would do well. Maytag would be great, I think.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Joe H

                                                                                                                                                                  I've made the dish and like your compromise re cheese. I'll hold out for the GD (!!!) .I found the pistachios at TJs, granted not an option outside the US.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                    Hey, I did find the ONE PLACE where they carried shelled, unsalted pistachios... if I was willing to buy in excess of 100kg. ¬_¬

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: HayatoJin

                                                                                                                                                              ...................yeah, what Joe said........................about the pistachios, have one of us buy a bag for you in TJ's, they ship right?..................

                                                                                                                                                            3. re: HayatoJin

                                                                                                                                                              well he's already said not to make it if you can't or won't or don't use his specific ingredients...................so, if you do make it with others, HIDE

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                I had a phenominal risotto in Munich a few months ago that I keep meaning to try here: Vacheron Mont D'or with pear and speck. Superb flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Joe H

                                                                                                                                                                  That sounds amazing. I'd not heard of that cheese so googled. I can see it would be just the thing. Please try this and report back, Joe.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Joe H

                                                                                                                                                                      Oh wow. I'd take this please:

                                                                                                                                                                      "Lemon risotto with squid, mascarpone and sea food bisque"

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Joe H

                                                                                                                                                                    that has two of my favorite things in it, how INCREDIBLE would that be...

                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                    In all seriousness, if I do make the recipe with what I can find and manage, I wouldn't be so arrogant to blame a bad or bland result on anything other than my own modifications or cooking experience, I AM a med student who just happened to enjoy cooking in a very amateur kind of way, after all.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: HayatoJin

                                                                                                                                                                      I'm gonna try this tomorrow (friday), will report back with tales of my victory or defeat.
                                                                                                                                                                      Stay tuned, same bat-channel, same bat-hour.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: HayatoJin

                                                                                                                                                                        not to worry HayatoJin, make it.
                                                                                                                                                                        if it's not to anyone's liking but yours, you succeeded

                                                                                                                                                                  3. And what do you know... I DID manage to find shelled, unsalted pistachios at the very last minute...

                                                                                                                                                                    I did some modifications to the recipe, mainly:
                                                                                                                                                                    1) Since there's no sweet onions in Chile, I used Red onion.
                                                                                                                                                                    2) Since this Gorgonzola was stronger than dolce (and also very expensive), I used 300g instead of 400 (I added an additional 100g of Philadelphia to compensate)
                                                                                                                                                                    3) I used twice as many pistachios

                                                                                                                                                                    The other modifications involved using more stock than called for in here (I began doing it as indicated and found it still had a lot to go when the 2 cups of stock and 10 minutes were done)

                                                                                                                                                                    Everything else was done as specified.


                                                                                                                                                                    It was incredibly cheesy; this thing has more cheese than rice. I personally liked it a lot. I wouldn't call it my favorite (I like fresher things), but it was very good. Still, it probably would have been better with proper Dolce.

                                                                                                                                                                    My family didn't like it that much, they thought it had too much cheese but oh well... I don't know if I'd repeat it very often, but it was definitely good for me.


                                                                                                                                                                    P.S. attached is a pic of the Gorgonzola I actually used.

                                                                                                                                                                    7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: HayatoJin

                                                                                                                                                                      I don't know about the need for more than two cups of stock; I've made this 40, 50+ times now? and never need more than two and one and one half cups wine to nail the texture. I really appreciate your trying it; it should be truly rich, incredibly rich but with a deep intense flavor and some crunch from the toasted pistachio chunks. When I make it I can probably serve 14-16 people with i because it is so strong. But one or two bites of this is almost orgasmic (!). Thanks again for trying.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Joe H

                                                                                                                                                                        I followed it to a tee and found the proportions correct. My mistake was serving it as a main instead of a side. SO rich. Didn't help that we started with beef marrow bones :) Yikes.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                          Beef marrow bones and then this! Wow.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Joe H

                                                                                                                                                                            Yep. I think next time maybe a roast chicken and the risotto. And a lettuce leaf to start :)

                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Joe H

                                                                                                                                                                          Maybe I overcooked it a bit, it didn't help that I had people around pestering and telling me how to do the recipe; still, it was very good (we were 6 people) and we had the leftovers for lunch today (we re-heated it on a water bath)

                                                                                                                                                                          For the wine... I used a relatively cheap Chilean Chardonnay (one and a half cup)... definitely not of the best wines I've had but was good enough to have the leftover wine (opened a new bottle) along with the risotto.

                                                                                                                                                                        3. re: HayatoJin

                                                                                                                                                                          somewhere on here is my post from a couple of years ago by now.
                                                                                                                                                                          I remember also stating that the amount of liquid called for not nearly enough for my version either. It was almost gone in no time but I wasn't. :(

                                                                                                                                                                        4. Sorry for this post but in over ten years on this board I've never started a thread that had 200 replies. Couldn't resist being the 200th! Of course it did take almost eight and one half years to do this...

                                                                                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Joe H

                                                                                                                                                                              funny, 8 years after this recipe was posted, I finally made this recipe tonight. I had 1/2 pound bag of vialone nano rice staring at me and a nice piece of gorgonzola dolce in the fridge but only a half pound and there are only two of us so I made a half recipe. Used some fiano di avellino I had and some good buttery sicilian barbera EVOO but those were the only subs. Had to play the stock amount by ear with the reduced quantity - as it was I added a bit extra and could have added more (the surface area plays a factor with rice/water ratios.

                                                                                                                                                                              In the end I added only a half stick of butter rather than the full stick and a little less reggiano parmigiano, but it was still pretty rich and creamy!

                                                                                                                                                                              I added a bit of chopped parsley with the roasted nuts and grated some pepper at the end.

                                                                                                                                                                              Verdict? I thought the gorg-pistachio combination was very good indeed.. the crunch.savory quality of the nuts, the herbaceous touch from the parsley (sorry Joe) and the acidity from the white wine cut the richness and it was pretty well balanced in flavor. A little too much of a good thing maybe - hardly a classic risotto with so much butterfat - but we will definitely enjoy the leftovers. I think I could have achieved a creamier texture with a bit more broth and a somewhat less of the fatty components. Will definitely give it a try again.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: jen kalb

                                                                                                                                                                                after eating the leftovers - it took us two nights - I think this dish was simply too rich - also the quantity of white wine excessive. I know i subbed the wine, but the flavor was just too obtrusive in the quantity used. in the final dish. Making again I would definitely modify by reducing the wine quantity, picking a different white and reducing the gorg and butter somewhat. but the taste combination esq with the nuts is still excellent.

                                                                                                                                                                                thanks much, Joe.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: jen kalb

                                                                                                                                                                                  I, for one. am so happy to hear your included opinion of the leftovers. Can't wait to get myself invloved in this dish...it sems "involved" is he only way to discribe it. Probably turning out to be a one night affair for me, instead of a part of my super club. I will report back as well!

                                                                                                                                                                            2. So I've read through the more than 200 replies a couple of times (without missing anything, I swear!) and I really want to make this. I am considering making it for my supper club. Our supper club consists of 4 couples, and traditionally the host couple makes the main dish, and everyone else is assigned an appetizer, side, or dessert. I feel like this would work better as a primi for this group. Even though I am hosting, I want to incorporate it. Does anyone who's made it have a suggestion as to what would work as the main? I may have two couples bring apps., and on e a dessert to make it all work out. Thank you in advance if you can help! Any ideas for other courses would be oh so greatly appreciated!

                                                                                                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Rizza

                                                                                                                                                                                I, too, have read through all of the 200+ replies and also the hilarious link "We did it! (Sort of) Roasted Pistachio Gorgonzola Risotto". What an entertaining read it all is. For your main, you probably need meat or fish as the starter doesn't use these and I should like to suggest chicken cooked in sherry vinegar and tarragon. It is a classic French dish, not Italian, but that's not too far away and it is delicious. You fry the chicken pieces until they are a lovely golden brown all over, fry shallots and then cook at a simmer with Amontillado sherry, sherry vinegar and tarragon on the top of the oven for 45 minutes. Serve with new potatoes and fresh peas or green beans. It's a good-natured dish and could be made the day before and re-heated. This would allow you to give your attention to the risotto. Hope it goes well whatever you decide to make.
                                                                                                                                                                                I should also like to make the risotto but being based in the UK I cannot source the ingredients mentioned and was wondering if the rice I have will be suitable. It is arborio rather than vialone or carnaroli and the only difference seems to be the size of the grains as arborio is 7mm. long, whereas vialone is 5mm. and carnaroli is 6.9mm. according to the information on the packet. What do you think, Joe? Thanks.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Missielee

                                                                                                                                                                                  Missieless, thank you for taking the time and having the patience to read through this and the wonderful followup. Use arborio! Good luck making it.

                                                                                                                                                                                  The chicken cooked in sherry vinegar and tarragon sounds delicious...

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Joe H

                                                                                                                                                                                    Jo I am so happy that you have replied to me.. I have to tell you that no patience was needed to read through it all. It was delightful. You have stimulated so much fun, excitement and interest in creating perfection in one dish. Thank you. I have the rice - now for the butter. I shall use the best butter available in the UK which is Danish!

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Missielee

                                                                                                                                                                                      totally agree. i always come back to read this thread. i made this recipe a few years ago and we loved it. it was over the top and we also felt mellowed and was far better the next day even.

                                                                                                                                                                                      congrats joe!

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Missielee

                                                                                                                                                                                    Hi Missielee - where in the UK are you? 'Cause Waitrose has both carnaroli & vialone nano - both the Gallo brand and an own "Cooks Own" brand. And the Ocado van can deliver them along with a piece of gorgonzola dolce! Most Sainsbury's carry more than just arborio too. If you've got an Italian deli anywhere near you can most likely do better than Gallo brand rice, but the Premium Gallo range isn't too bad. Gallo's ubiquitous in Mom and Pop grocery shops all over Italy (same as De Cecco pasta - both good solid brands that'd be eaten often at home).

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Missielee

                                                                                                                                                                                      Sainsbury has So Organic Arborio rice that is amazing. I found it cooks better than other Italian brands (I may have tried them all while I lived there and was on a strict wheat-free diet), with a nice cream while the grain doen't get mushy and watered. We often go to Northern Ireland (from Dublin) just to buy it!

                                                                                                                                                                                  3. Is it a half cup pistachios before or after being chopped? I can believe this recipe is tasty...there's half a pound of butter in it!

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. I am surprised it is recommended to find a moist brick considering Italian parmesan is crystalline and not known for moistness. Also can't figure out that Chardonnay is recommended, as it has been known to be bitter when cooked and Sauvignon Blanc or Vermouth is preferred.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Ok...one more risotto question (I'm making it next weekend!). Is it possible to make it ahead of time and keep it in a chafing dish or crock pot? I am very excited to try it! Thank you for your input.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. I made this tonight. After a serious effort in sourcing the ingredients and following the directions to the letter, I was very disappointed.

                                                                                                                                                                                          It's just too rich. After two fork fulls, I had had enough. This is coming from someone predisposed to a butter and cheese rich diet. (Many nights I'll happily substitute dinner for some stilton, port and a good artisan bread.).

                                                                                                                                                                                          I know that it was mentioned many times that a small portion is all that is needed, but I came to the table expecting to be wowed and came away thinking that there's just too much fat in there masquerading as flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                                          9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Jez

                                                                                                                                                                                            I agree that it could be optimized at a significantly lower quantity of fat. the flavor combo is good so it might be worth working on. Alternatively a pasta combining the same set of flavors could be really good and might be easier to manage.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Jez

                                                                                                                                                                                              That is disappointing...all too often fat is considered "good cooking".

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Jez

                                                                                                                                                                                                I was very happy that I tried this dish. But I wasn't completely blown away as I thought I would be. I would like to try to alter it a little as well. Some people in my gourmet group really liked it. Others were put off a little by the pistachios. The texture of the nuts gave the impression that the risotto wasn't fully cooked since there was crunch in there, although I am certain it was. But like I said, I am glad I gave it a go. It was fun reading all these posts and hunting down the ingredients. I may even try it again someday. (Did not dare try to keep it warm btw...made it last minute with my friends in the kitchen).

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Rizza

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Grind the pistachios and sprinkle over each serving. Looks pretty, tastes great, no crunch factor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Jez

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Today I got all the ingredients together to make this recipe without thinking about it or reading this thread. Then I started thinking about it. 1 stick of butter + 1/2 lb of gorgonzola + 1/3 lb of parmesan for 1 cup of dry rice? No -- I won't do it! I almost wonder if it's flame.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: sushigirlie

                                                                                                                                                                                                    The original recipe calls for a pound of dry rice...but still, I hear you. I am not one to shy away from cheese, butter or anything rich, but this recipe sounds unbelievably decadent.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                                                      All my figures are roughly cut in half from the original recipe. The original recipe does indeed call for a stick of butter for a cup or so of dry rice, plus the cheese.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: sushigirlie

                                                                                                                                                                                                        sushiegirlie: if you can stand wading through all of the posts about this recipe, one of mine offers proportions that really work (with or without the chocolate I mentioned). I promise you. Of course, if you say it is delicious, you will get blistered by Joe who tolerates NO DISAGREEMENT with his pronouncements about how things should be cooked.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: sushigirlie

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yes, after I posted I realized that - sorry! Even if the stick of butter were for a pound of rice though - WOW that is going to be some rich risotto!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Was speaking to a lady yesterday in Whole FOods about this risotto. Cause was sampling her cheese at the deli and had the gorg dolce, so good

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I bought gorgonzola dolce at WF not long ago and was quite disappointed in it. Too "dry." The stuff I get at DiPalos in NYC runs across the plate. When I made Joe H's recipe a year ago, I got much better than WF at a wonderful market in Sonoma. I think one of the strengths of this recipe is the quality of the ingredients. Perhaps I just got a subpar batch from WF but when there yesterday I deliberately didn't buy it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                        agreed - the cheese quality and particularly flavor matters a lot. As does the wine flavor. Id definitely go for a wine other than a fancy chardonnay , but one that is fresh, has some fruit and acidity but not too sharp and no exotic flavors. The wine should provide a background note and the one I used definitely obtruded. Maybe a nice lower tier french chard would work but nothing from California, please.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Thank you for posting this recipe. I've just made this risotto for lunch. It was absolutely delicious and I got compliments. One of the best risotti I've ever eaten and I wish I've found this recipe before (specially when I was wheat allergic and ate risotti everyday for a year!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I loved the crunchiness and sweetness of the pistacchio contrasting with the creamy risotto. It also looks gorgeous (quite difficult accomplishment for a risotto!!).

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'll be surely making this again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Just a note: It's Parmigiano Reggiano, not Reggiano Parmigiano, and the best ones are the dry, not moist.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: TatiLie

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I was just recently diagnosed with several food allergies, but I'm glad that Joe H's risotto will be safe for me to eat. I made it once a few years ago and haven't tried again because of how involved it is.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Last weekend I spent 4+ hours making a wheat-, soy-, and peanut-free pizza that was too much effort for the rubbery, spongy result that I got.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'll have to remember to make Joe's risotto soon, which I'm sure will cheer me up from food-allergy blues.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: blissandfelicity

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Oh, dear. I know exactly how you feel. It's just horrible to spend so much time and money in 'mock' food and in the end having a huge frustration because it doesn't taste anything like the real thing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I was wheat and seafood allergic and I was living in Italy. It was hell. In the end I've learned to just embrace things that originally without the allergens so that I wouldn't feel pity of myself. I've learned to cook and risotti are my speciality (which I'm very proud because my husband is Italian and risotti are MY territory!). Another food I've lived by was rösti, which is delicious and very adaptable. You should try it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I don't know if you allergy doctor told you that many adult allergies can be 'reseted' if you don't contaminate yourself for 1-2 years. I kept a strict diet for a year, redone the test and I was food allergy free! Be brave, keep strong and you'll get there. Best wishes from the bottom of my heart (and my stomach, which is actually deeper!).

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: TatiLie

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Have you been to Italy recently? I was there last year and noticed gluten-free foods in many restaurants, not just in big cities. Presumably that would work for someone with a wheat allergy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: piccola

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Gluten free does work for wheat allergy. Italy has one of the largest coeliac populations and gluten-free products are wide spread. The problem is... not only gluten free pasta, cake, bread, pizza taste horrible and make me feel like I'm a sick person eating hospital food (which was not a positive approach, specially when dealing with stress induced flare-ups) but also there's a high risk of contamination, which in the case of allergy sufferers can put you back 1-2 years of the treatment diet. And it's not worthy the risk.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: TatiLie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Fair enough. I had gluten-free pizza near Milan and it was pretty tasty (albeit a total grease bomb).

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: TatiLie

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Thanks for the sympathy, TaitLie. People in my "non-Chowhound" life who don't love food as I do don't seem to understand at all how I feel, but it's nice to know that someone does.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yes -- my doctor said that if I'm good for a year, I may be able to re-introduce some of the offenders slowly as my upper digestive tract heals. But she says people never outgrow the wheat allergy. I'll need to clarify with her again since you are now wheat allergy free, and I've read on other sites that children often outgrow wheat allergies. Maybe she was talking about my allergy to gluten and it's gluten I'll never outgrow? I'll need to double check -- I'm still in shock and have a hard time assimilating information about this

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I will definitely try rosti -- do you have any good recipes or suggested restaurants in the SF Bay Area?

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: blissandfelicity

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Probably your doctor was talking about the gluten allergy (aka coeliac disease which is not a proper allergy) that you can never outgrow (although some recent research are finding interesting medicines that will block the gluten to make damage in the coeliacs).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                About rösti recipes, I just cook a bunch of potatoes half way, leave to rest for 24 hours, grate it thick, add grated parmesan (that acts like an 'anti-caking agent'). Then in a small teflon frying pan (I bought specially for my allergy time) I melt butter, pick whatever I have in the fridge (mushrooms, onions, bacon, ham, gorgonzola, etc), mix with two handfuls of the potato mix and spread in the pan. Cook in low heat for 12 minutes. With the help of a spatula, trim the edges down. Then with a plate, turn it and do another 10-12 minutes in the other side until gets golden. And... yum, yum!!! :)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                I used to have the potato mix always ready in the fridge. It's fast and delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: TatiLie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  That sounds delicious. I'll have to sub oil though. When I had originally commented on Joe H's recipe regarding my allergy, I didn't realize I was allergic to dairy, but for now that's on the can't-eat list too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thanks for the info about gluten. I'll double check with my doctor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Thanks for the recipe but what exact rice do you recommend i.e. from which producer the "industrial brands like Scotti and Gallo are very poor and I'm sure the excellent restaurants you mention use a more artisanal rice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Sandeel

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sandeel, any good quality aborio, carnaroli or vialone nano. Alessi os ok - so is Zerto (sp?). They're all pretty good. It's taking the time to cook the risotto that really matters more than anything else.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. How many does this recipe serve? thanks, nt

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ntt2674

                                                                                                                                                                                                              The OP states "The above recipe will serve at least eight."

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Thanks Joe H- AWESOME!!!!!!!!- we cut it in half and ate the whole thing 2 people- Yes, we're total gluttons.....wondering if you have a lead on the ultimate mushroom risotto?
                                                                                                                                                                                                              merci from Montreal

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Hi Joe,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Do you unsalted pistachios or salted.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I like trying recipes that someone has taken the time to get it exactly right. I've located all the ingredients. Possibly the sweet onion might be the only issue. How about shallots instead. Perfect to do this while it's cold outside.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: toucanan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It says in the recipe to use unsalted.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. I made this last night. It was just ok last night. I cooked out the alcohol, but it seemed like I didn't cook it all the out. It was 10x's better the next day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. The snow continues to cover our North Carolina… perfect day to make this risotto. I used Harris Teeter brand arborio risotto, cornish blue english cheese from the 7th street station Ormond's shop and pardon me for using a yellow onion.. because that was at hand.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Here is hoping we get the same mouth savoring results. I'll report later….

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        CO: what do you think my biggest offense was in making the dish ? and thanks for writing

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: fourthwardcooks

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Totally joking :) Joe H was VERY strict about this recipe and it's caused amusement over the years. I'm sure yours will be fantastic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: fourthwardcooks

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hint: You need to read the entire thread. Deviating from the exact recipe is heresy, and you'll probably be burned at the stake for your sins.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              TOTES as the Valley Girls say!!! I actually did make it JUST EXACTLY as he dictated. It was great but so rich I never made it again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. I made this last night, but it didn't come out right. Something must be wrong with this recipe because I followed it exactly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I didn't have any arborio rice so I substituted Minute Rice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        There were no fresh onions, but the dried onion flakes were from a fresh bottle I just bought at the big membership club.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I was out of olive oil, but the the oil in the deep fryer was still good. I don't think we had fried fish, yet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The Wine in a Box only had 1 1/3 cups left (I made it up to 1 1/2 cups with a little Wine Cooler).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Okay, I'll admit, the chicken bouillon cubes were a little old and dry, but a short time in the microwave brought them back to life.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The only cheese in the house was a bowl of Velveeta Mexican Queso, but it was almost a pound and just enough for the recipe. Glad I had made extra for the Super Bowl.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        There was no butter either, but there was just 1/2 pound left of the Shed Spread in the 1-lb Tub, so that was lucky. I will have to add more Shed Spread to my shopping list.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I didn't have any pistachios to toast, but the toasted corn nuts should have been a good substitute.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And drat the luck, I was also out of Reggiano Parmegiano. But I was saved by that big green can of Kraft Grated Parmesan Cheese.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        So I put everything in my Mirro Teflon saute pan (there are only a few bare metal spots showing through the non-stick coating). It's a little too big for the hot plate, but if you keep moving the pan around, everything usually cooks evenly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I boiled and stirred everything for 1 hour. At the end of cooking, it was a very bad risotto (but a darn good library paste.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        How could someone post a recipe like this?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Gordon Ramsay would ask if you were trying to kill someone.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Well, maybe I will give it one more chance and make it again sometime. ;-).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Antilope

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I don't have a clue why it didn't turn out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Antilope

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Utterly baffling - especially as I'm pretty sure this is just how they do it at the new Times Square branch of Guy's American Kitchen & Bar ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Antilope

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              oh my gosh!!! i am cracking up!!! frat boy risotto!!! thanks for the giggle. :D

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. I just ran across this recipe while looking for interesting risotto recipes, and I absolutely loved it. Very rich, even after cutting down on the amount of Parmesan, Gorgonzola, and butter, but still quite heavy. I ate it as a main course, in a smaller portion than I usually would with risotto. So rich.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I used the sweet onion as prescribed, and used carnarolli rice because that's the best risotto rice I'm able to find in these parts. I used a cheaper wine, and it wasn't chardonnay, but was still pretty tasty (good enough to drink for sure, and a similar flavor profile). And I'm usually a beer guy, too. I used frozen stock that was 10 bucks for 28oz. Even with a halved recipe, I had to use the whole 28oz plus a little bit of water. Must be doing something wrong, but it wasn't al dente until I used all that liquid. Maybe I was cooking at too high a temp? I used my Le Creuset 3.5qt braiser, which is my usual risotto pan.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              My grocery store of choice actually had two options for Gorgonzola Dolce, one was Gorgonzola Verde Dolce and one was Gorgonzola Dolce Creamy. I tried both before buying them and while the Verde was stronger flavored, the creamy was obviously softer, although the other wasn't hard either. I ended up using them each in equal measure. Worked great.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              And for the record, I don't think anything that I "changed" represents a major departure from the original recipe. And heck, I loved it. This will be a frequent dish for me now, I think. Hopefully leftovers are good too.