Arborio is a short grain rice from the Po River valley in northern Italy and is used in risotto. Risotto is a northern Italian classic dish in which the rice is gently cooked with small amounts of liquid added a little at a time. It should end with a creamy consistency, but be firm to the bite. This dish displays a bright, summery tomato color and flavor, accented with delicate sweet green peas. Serve as an entrée with a simple green salad.
2 T. tomato paste
6 cups canned light chicken broth
2 T. olive oil
4 T. butter
1 large leek, all but 2 inches of greens, thinly sliced and washed
2 cups Italian Arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
4 medium firm, ripe, Florida tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
1 10-ounce package frozen peas
1 pound prosciutto, thinly sliced and julienne
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
4 T. Italian parsley, finely chapped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Mix the tomato paste and chicken broth in a medium-sized saucepan. Keep warm over medium-low heat.
In a large skillet warm the olive oil and butter together over medium heat. When the butter foams, add slices of leek, cook until soft and tender. Add rice and stir until well coated. Add wine and stir until it is almost absorbed. Add ½ cup of the chicken broth, and stir until broth is almost absorbed, Continue stirring the rice adding remaining broth ½ cup at a time, for 10 to 20 minutes. The result should be very creamy but firm to the bite.
Add tomatoes, peas, prosciutto and Parmesan to the rice. Salt and pepper to taste and cook for another 4 to 5 minutes.
Stir in Parmesan cheese and parsley and serve immediately.