Artichoke and prosciutto risotto seasoned with fresh basil oil
2 14.75 ounce jars of Cynara Petite Artichokes Hearts in Water, drained
1/2 cup basil leaves
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons Bellucci 100% Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 slices prosciutto
6 cups chicken stock
1 medium leek, white part only, thinly sliced
1 medium shallot, chopped
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
- To make the basil oil, put the basil and extra virgin olive oil in a blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into a small saucepan and heat for 30 seconds, then strain through a fine mesh strainer. Reserve.
- Slice the largest artichokes as thinly as possible without them falling apart. Pat dry and reserve for making chips. Chop up the rest of the artichokes into big pieces and set aside.
- Heat a sauté pan over medium high heat. Cook the slices of prosciutto until crispy on both sides. Remove and set aside. In the same pan, cook the thin slices of artichoke hearts until golden brown. Remove and set aside.
- Heat the chicken stock in a pot over low heat. You want the stock to be simmering when you are ready to add it to the risotto.
- Heat a cast iron pan over medium heat. Add the extra virgin olive oil, leek, shallot, and a large pinch of salt. Cook for about 7 minutes, or until soft but not brown, while stirring occasionally. Add the arborio rice and stir for 30 seconds so the rice kernels are coated in extra virgin olive oil. Add the white wine and let it evaporate. Start adding the chicken stock, 1/2 a cup at a time. Stir constantly and continue adding more stock as the rice absorbs it all. Continue cooking until rice is al dente, about 20 minutes. Add the chopped Cynara artichoke hearts, stir and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the parmesan and adjust seasoning if needed.
- To serve, ladle risotto into a bowl. Top with Artichoke Chyps, crispy prosciutto and basil oil.