Risotto with Sparkling Wine, Lemon and Parsley


The beginning of January is typically a bummer for me. Yesterday I spent the day undecorating for Christmas. After all the hustle and bustle, the good wishes and visiting friends and neighbors we are left with a dead Christmas tree lined street. Please come soon to mulch them! And, insult to injury, a cold front is moving in just in time for the kids to bike to school tomorrow morning.

Anyone who knows me well knows that I don’t dwell on the bummers in life. I try to look ahead to something fun…an upcoming party or lunch with girlfriends. This year while I was undecorating sure I spent some of the time wishing the season wasn’t over, but I also thought of the great year my family had and everything we had to be thankful for. Good health, happy kids, plenty to eat, a roof over our heads. Proof that my New Years’ resolution from last year was beginning to stick. For the past three years I have moved to more intellectual or insightful if you will resolutions. 2013 – Read at least 5 of the classics, check. 2014 – Count to ten before responding in anger (hard for me!), kind of check.  This year I am going to continue to think of others, to be more empathetic, instead of immediately saying, “why the heck would they do that” I will put myself in their shoes, give them the benefit of the doubt. Humans don’t always do things to intentionally hurt someone else’s feelings. Sometimes that is just the unfortunate result of moving through life.

Believe it or not I have already had to put my resolution to the test. I found it very liberating to let go of the anger I would typically feel for way to long. It is so exhausting and time consuming to feel that way. And how liberating to simply say, “I am over it” and to come to an understanding, within myself at least, that it wasn’t the person’s intent to hurt feelings. Here’s hoping that I can keep it up for a full year. What a good life lesson for my kids if I can.

Because I have not been grocery shopping since before the holidays, and because it is finally feeling like winter and finally because I needed some comfort after kicking my beautiful Christmas trees to the curb, I give you risotto! It is not as hard to make as you think. In fact I am not really sure what all the fuss is about. This is one of the first dishes I made newly married and have been making risotto ever since. It does require some attention but most dishes do. And it is a perfect clean out the pantry and fridge dish.

Ahhhh, I feel better already. Happy New Year.

1 tbs olive oil

1 tbs unsalted butter

1/4 cup finely diced onion

1 cup arborio rice

1 cup dry sparkling wine (brut)

about 4 cups chicken stock

1/3 cup Parmesan cheese

1/3 cup mascarpone cheese

Zest from 1 lemon

3 tbs freshly chopped parsley

salt and pepper to taste


Heat olive oil and butter in a sauce pan over medium heat.  Once it froths add the onion and saute until tender, about 2 minutes. Add the arborio rice and stir to coat. Toast the rice about 3 minutes. Add the sparkling wine and simmer until most of the liquid evaporates. Then add the chicken stock one cup at a time and simmer until most of the liquid evaporates in between each addition. Stir occasionally. You know the rice is cooked when it becomes translucent and has a tender bite vs. the hard bite of uncooked rice.

Off of the heat add the remaining ingredients and stir aggressively. This thickens the risotto. Plate and serve with a side salad.


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