Risotto in February: Perfect Antidote for Winter Blues

By February 15, 2020Italy, Recipe

Risotto Cacio e Pepe

If you don’t ski, snowboard or ice skate, you probably can’t wait for Winter to end. You can’t make time go faster, but you can make it more enjoyable. So here is a recipe for Risotto Cacio e Pepe that will get you through the February Blues. N.B. You need to commit serious time to this recipe.

This recipe was developed by Chef Massimo Bottura to make use of all the wheels of Parmigiano-Reggiano that were damaged by the earthquake that hit Emilia Romagna in 2012. The Parmigiano cream added toward the end of cooking adds a rich complexity that sets this version apart. Good luck! Just remember that you’ll need 9 hours to complete.

For the Parmigiano broth:

  • 2 lb. Parmigiano-Reggiano, coarsely grated

For the risotto:

  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 3 medium shallots, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • Parsley leaves, for garnish


  1. Make the Parmigiano broth: In a 6-quart saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the cheese and 8½ cups water. When the cheese becomes stringy, remove from heat. Let cool to room temperature, and repeat heating once more. Refrigerate the broth for at least 8 hours and up to overnight. The next day, the broth should have separated into 3 distinct layers: a cream layer, on top; a broth layer, in the middle; and solids, on the bottom. Carefully remove the top cream layer and set aside. Strain the broth, discarding remaining solids (bottom layer).
  2. Make the risotto: In a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat, heat 6 cups Parmigiano broth; set aside and keep warm. In a 6-quart saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the shallots and garlic, and cook, stirring, until soft, 3 minutes. Add the rice; cook 2 minutes. Add the reserved broth ½ cup at a time, cooking until each addition is absorbed before adding more. Cook, stirring often, until rice is tender and creamy, about 20–22 minutes. Stir in ⅓ cup reserved Parmigiano cream and cracked pepper; garnish with parsley.

If this recipe didn’t tire you, or you ‘d like to see other risotto suggestions, here are 5 more:

Cuttlefish Ink Risotto

Artichoke Risotto with Capocollo and Pecorino

Mushroom Risotto

Lemon Rosemary Risotto

Lobster Risotto

Credit to Saveur Magazine for all the recipes.

Author Vin Marottoli

More posts by Vin Marottoli
Book this tour today! Book Tour


Sign up today for FREE and receive great wine recommendations, recipes and travel advice from wine educator, writer and radio host, Vin Marottoli - plus special savings offers on our tours.

No SPAM! Your information will not be shared or sold to third parties. You may unsubscribe any time.