Risotto ai porri (with leeks)

Risotto ai Porri (with Leeks)

Inspired by Carlo, a Piedmontese friend from Cervere in Piedmont.


Cervere is a little town in the province of Cuneo in Piedmont, which is famous for its leek. A smaller, less pungent variety, the mild and delicate Cervere leek really sings in a risotto.


Near the end of November, in Cervere, you can even attend the local leek festival that celebrates this veggie. After harvest, leeks are stored in a dark room until they reach the peak of flavor. 


You might enjoy this recipe in Italy in the winter when leeks are in season. 


Ingredients for 5 people:

  • 500 grams (2 and 1/4 cup) Arborio or Carnaroli rice
  • 3 leeks
  • 3 Tbsp EVOO
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • 2 liters (~1/2 gallon) vegetable broth**
  • 1/3 cup grated Grana Padano (similar to Parmigiano Reggiano) 
  • salt and pepper to taste 


  • Heat the vegetable broth (**we make ours from scratch, simply boiling for at least an hour: 1/2 gallon water with 1 big carrot, 1 big onion, 1 sprig rosemary, 2 garlic cloves, 1 big potato, 1 celery stalk, the "greens" of the leeks and salt to taste. Then we strain it to separate out the fibers)
  • Wash leeks and finely chop the white part (the green went into the broth)
  • Sauté chopped leeks in EVOO until cooked
  • Add the rice and stir until it is well coated (a few minutes)
  • Add 1 ladle of hot broth to the rice and stir. Continue stirring, adding more broth each time the rice begins to dry – i.e. has absorbed all the liquid. This usually takes around 20 minutes, total, over medium flame
  • When the risotto is "al dente" (nearly done), turn off the heat and add the grated cheese
  • Stir well to create a smooth concoction
  • Adjust with salt and pepper to taste and/or more grated cheese
  • Serve on individual plates

Buon appetito!



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