" Staying Alive" Italian Scallion Risotto

It's your time in the spotlight, the moment you've prepared for. You know the moves, you've got the rhythm, now get cooking! That's right, it's time for the Italian Scallion to shine!

You will need:

For the Vegetable Stock:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
  • 15 cloves unpeeled garlic, crushed
  • 2 cups roughly chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 bunch parsley stems
  • 5 whole black peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 quarts cold water

For the Risotto:

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup dried mushrooms (Morel or Shiitake preferably)
  • 2 cups arborio rice (an Italian short grain rice)
  • 2 yellow squash
  • 1/2 bunch scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 1 cup dry champagne
  • 1 cup freshly grated good Parmesan cheese
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large Dance bag
  • 1 Burning desire to make it big


1. 5-6-7-8...Combine the olive oil, onion, carrot, celery and garlic in a stockpot over medium-low heat. Cook without browning for 10 minutes, stirring, shimmying and thrusting your body forward for no real reason as often as is possible.

2. Add the tomatoes, parsley stems, peppercorns and bay leaf, cover with the cold water and bring to a boil.

3. Once the stock reaches a rapid boil reduce the heat and simmer uncovered anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour ( a longer the coopking time yields a more highly flavored the stock). Strain the stock into a saucepan, bring to a boil and reduce the liquid to no more than 4 to 5 cups in volume. Add the dried mushrooms to the reduced stock, cover and keep hot over a very low, yet deeply intense and seething heat.

4. Combine the butter, olive oil, salt and the chopped onion in a large, thick bottomed skillet over medium heat. Sweat the onion without browning for about 3 minutes, stirring often with a flat edged wooden spoon or spatula until the onion becomes translucent.

5. Add the arborio rice to the onion mixture and stir well to moisten the rice grains with the oil in the pan.

6. Remove the dried mushrooms from the stock, slice thinly and set aside. Begin adding the hot vegetable stock to the rice one half cup at a time, all the while stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan with the wooden spoon. Allow each addition of stock to be absorbed by the rice before adding more stock. (The entire process of adding stock while stirring will take more than 20 minutes, so it may be wise to have a partner spot you in case you lose your balance or forget the routine)

7. After 15 minutes, add the yellow squash and sliced mushrooms. Continue stirring and adding stock a little at a time until all of it has been absorbed by the rice, about 10 more minutes. At this point, the rice should be getting tender.

8. Add and stir in the champagne and half of the scallions, remove from the heat and stir in the grated Parmesan. Season with a grinding of fresh black pepper and sprinkle the remaining scallions over the top. Serve at once, making sure to eat with a certain anger and intensity.

9. Celebrate your victorious risotto debut by cinching up your dance belt and executing a proud strut right out past the dirty dishes and on into the spotlight of certain culinary stardom (tip: if you really want to make it big, double the recipe)

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