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Risotto bianco with egg yolk and black truffle

Risotto bianco with egg yolk and black truffle: food styling by Sasha Seymour; prop styling by Stephanie Saunders

Ashley Capp/The Globe and Mail

Most of the prep for this decadent egg-topped main can be done the day ahead.

Servings: 4 as a main course or 6 as a first course


1 cup fresh parmesan cheese, finely grated and divided into 2 half cups

1 litre chicken stock

4 to 6 eggs

1 tablespoon garlic, finely chopped

2 leeks, white part only, quartered lengthwise and sliced into 1/8-inch pieces

1/4 cup cold butter, divided into 1-tablespoon and 3-tablespoon portions (cut the latter into small cubes)

1 1/2 cups arborio rice

1/4 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup pecorino romano cheese, finely grated

1 black truffle or a few drops of white-truffle oil

1/4 cup chives, cut into 1/2-inch lengths

Salt and pepper to taste


To make the parmesan-crisp garnish, or frico as it is called in Italian, heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. Add 1 heaping tablespoon of parmesan cheese to the pan and spread it into a thin round, about 3 to 4 inches in diameter. Repeat with the remaining 1/2 cup of parmesan until you have 4 or 6 rounds. Cook for about 3 minutes or until cheese is bubbling and barely golden at the edges. Remove pan from heat and lift the crisps out one at a time with a small spatula. As you go, gently pinch one side of the warm frico, creating a pleat to form the crisp into a cup shape, then transfer to a large plate and allow to cool completely (they can be stored in an airtight container for up to two days).

To make the risotto, bring stock to a simmer in a medium-sized pot over medium-high heat. Add eggs and simmer in stock for no more than 2 minutes. Remove from stock and set aside until ready to use. Leave stock simmering on stove to use for the risotto.

Combine garlic, leeks and 1 tablespoon of butter in a medium-large pot over low heat. Add a pinch of salt and cook gently until garlic and leeks are translucent (about 2 minutes). Add rice to the pot and gently stir for about 2 minutes to coat each grain with butter. Stir frequently and do not allow the rice to colour.

Turn heat up to medium low and add stock, about half a cup at a time, allowing rice to become dry in between additions. Stir frequently and add stock as needed until rice is al dente. This should take about 15 minutes.

If you are doing this portion of the prep in advance (up to one day), remove rice to a cookie sheet and spread out to cool. Rice and eggs can be stored in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to one day.

To finish rice, reheat stock and put rice back in its pot and carry on with the recipe. If you are cooking the dish right before serving, do not cool rice. Add heavy cream to the rice mixture and stir well. Turn down heat to low and add the remaining butter, stirring vigorously, then the remaining 1/2 cup of parmesan and the pecorino romano cheese. Check for seasoning.

Turn off the heat and cover the pot. Allow rice to sit for 2 minutes.

Divide risotto between 4 or 6 shallow bowls. Create a divot in each serving and tuck a parmesan crisp into each divot. Crack eggs one at a time onto a small plate and slide one yolk into each parmesan-crisp cup. The egg yolk should separate easily from the white.

Garnish with very thin slices of truffle or a very fine drizzle of white-truffle oil, chives and black pepper. Guests can stir the yolk into the risotto before eating.

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