Feed Your Addiction: Black & White Truffle Risottos

I have to warn you these risottos may cost you your kids college fund, but hey!.. why not!? Some things in life are just THAT good. So tell the brats to get a job and you… start feeding your addiction. You know you want to!

Excuse the low level of morality today but… Am i the only one who enjoys watching sexy things like pancetta, rock shrimp, grana sardo and black truffle getting it on in a rich risotto? ..err..Nevermind! No really, I just hope i’m not turning into a food perv’. That would be bad! This kind of dish might be a little too good for my own sanity, i think.

Rock Shrimp Risotto w/ Pancetta, Grana Sardo & Black Truffle

(serves 6)
  • 5 ounces pancetta, diced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 5 cups good chicken stock
  • 1 cup grana sardo, grated
  • 2 tbs unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon black truffle oil
  • 1 pound rock shrimp, cleaned
  • 4 tbs chives
  • 1 medium black truffle (optional)

  • Cook the pancetta in a large heavy-bottomed pot until crisp. Meanwhile, in a separate pot, bring the chicken stock to a gentle simmer. Discard some of the pancetta fat and add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the garlic, onion and thyme and cook until the onion is translucent. Add the rice and stir to coat the rice. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes over medium-low heat. Add the wine and cook, stirring, until evaporated.

  • Add about 1 cup of the chicken stock and cook, stirring constantly, until it is completely absorbed by the rice, then add another cup of liquid. Continue until all the broth has been used and the rice is ‘al dente’.

Heat the remaining olive oil in a saute pan and add the shrimp. Season with salt and pepper and cook until firm and pink, 1 to 2 minutes. Fold the shrimp into the risotto along with the grated cheese, the butter, the truffle oil and the chives. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

  • Mound some risotto in the center of each bowl and shave the black truffle (if using) over each bowl and serve at once.
  • Wait.. Who has started eating without my permission!?… WHO!??

    Well, this wasn’t the end of my truffle obsession. It’s with the scent of black truffle still lingering on聽that I picked up a tasting menu from Per Se the next day (they’re up for grab!). I can tell you Thomas Keller was in good form. Just look at this menu…

    (You can save the picture or click on it to see a bigger version)

    I’ve never eaten at Per Se but this menu and particulary the carnaroli risotto with Alba white truffle really caught my attention. I’m getting closer and closer to take the plunge. Ordering this dish at Per Se will cost you a $150 supplement on the $275 tasting menu (that’s without tax or wine, friends.). At first I thought i should start saving up but that’s when i started reasoning myself:

    “Hey dude! You too have carnaroli rice, good chicken stock, onions, white wine, castelmagno cheese and a white Alba truffle at work. Why don’t you… you know.. Do it yourself and spend the money in a strip club instead!!”

    And so i did improvise my own version of that Carnarolli Risotto Biologico w/ Castelmagno & White Alba Truffle, although i did stop short of shaving a whole white truffle over the plate as Thomas Keller would, but this was more than you need to give you goosebumps.

    The Alba truffle shavings release such a powerful earthy aroma as they touch the hot and creamy risotto, it’s hard to find the words to describe the mood it creates. The crumbly castelmagno cheese provides just the right richness and nuttiness and the milky white truffle foam adds texture to carry the flavor even further. A dream…

    Just come to my house with a signed blank check payable to Zenchef or a Visa or Mastercard and i’ll let you experience the magic. You’re all invited!

    Carnaroli Risotto Biologico w/ White Truffle from Alba & Castelmagno cheese

    (served at Per Se ~ improvised by Zenchef)

    • 1 cup organic carnaroli risotto
    • 1/2 cup white wine
    • 1 small onion, chopped
    • 4 tbs butter
    • 4 cups good chicken stock
    • 4 ounces castelmagno cheese, crumbled
    • 2 ounces Italian fontina, diced
    • 1 tablespoon mascarpone
    • 1 small White truffle from Alba


    • Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a heavy-bottomed pot and add the onions. Cook until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the rice and stir to coat over medium-low heat. Add the wine and keep stirring until it has all evaporated. Meanwhile, in a separate pot, bring the chicken stock to a gentle simmer.

    • Add one cup of the hot chicken stock to the rice and keep stirring until it has been completely absorbed. Then add another cup of stock and keep stirring, repeat until all the liquid has been used up. The rice should be ‘al dente’. Remove from the heat and immediately add the remaining butter, the castelmagno cheese, the fontina and the mascarpone stirring vigorously until the rice is creamy and ‘loose’.
    • Divide between two bowls and shave the white truffle over the top at the last possible moment. Serve immediately. (The foam can be made by combining stock, milk infused with truffle scraps and truffle oil brought to a simmer and frothed with a stick blender)

    Not that I’m plotting a culinary coup to take over Per Se and rename it Per Zen but I’m sending a clear message here: Watch your back Thomas Keller!

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    • Manggy

      Oh God, white diamonds. I’ve never had (or even SMELLED) one before but I’m dying to try it. Why do you have to show off so much!? It’s not good for my wallet! I may yet show up with that blank check…
      Oh, I so feel totally the same way about food that you may call me a fellow pervert. There’s a reason they call it food “porn.” :)

    • Peter M

      I was amazed to learn that there is also a truffle market, like stocks.

      I believe they have always been expensive but a little indulgence never killed anybody. The shrimp risotto is to die for!

    • We Are Never Full

      ok, now i really am going to come ransack your apartment. this is bullshit! i want some friggin truffle!!!!!!!!!

      me, jealous? noooooo.

    • Darius T. Williams

      Nah – you’re not the only one…looks looks great! I love you – lol!


    • Stacey Snacks

      It’s about time!
      Busy man, I know.
      This is a fancy pants recipe.

    • Ginny

      white truffle??? Wow!!! Yep…Im drooling! :)

    • cook eat FRET

      zen, where did you get the white truffle? i am in the market…

    • Nicole

      I need a moment alone right now! Or a cigarette. I am in love…..

      Let me check my lottery tickets and I may be over tomorrow with my check. Luck permitting!

    • Clumbsy Cookie

      I don’t have kids so forgert about their college fund! I want that risoto for dinner tonight, I’m writing the check right now, ok? You can bring it to me (extra truffle shaving please) and then proceed to use my check at a sprip club, since you seem to enjoy that. 馃槈

    • Colloquial Cook

      Aucune id茅e du go没t du castelmagno, vu que le fromage n’est pas mon meilleur ami, mais rien que de te lire, j’ai envie d’y go没ter, 脿 ce risotto, h茅h茅h茅. Mon huile commence d茅j脿 脿 embaumer 馃槈

      Au fait, les visites de mon blog ont explos茅, je me demande bien pourquoi :-) merci Z!

    • jesse

      It’s good to be a perv… when it comes to food. 馃槈

    • dirtykitchensecrets

      Well well! I’ve just made a pumpkin risotto! I absolutely loooooooove truffles and this looks fabulous!

    • T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types

      Very classy – never have I seen such risottos, but I haven’t eaten at Per Se either … sounds like it would be far more economical to drop by your place. :-)

    • TavoLini

      I’m speechless. Swooning. Fainting. Bring me some smelling salts. And some truffles 馃槈

    • My Sweet & Saucy

      Wow, two recipes in one post!!! Now I just wish I was rich enough to make one of them!

    • glamah16

      Oh so delish.

    • Mike of Mike’s Table

      That risotto looks stunning…and lol about the Per Se take-over. My check is totally in the mail, so I’ll just take the risotto now…

    • ila

      omigod. thats looks evil. evil-y delicious.

      zen, i think you should be my man wife and feed me good shtuff like this every night :)

    • Emiline

      Oooh, I’m so jealous!!

      I think your risotto is sexxxy. I’m a total food whore though.

    • Big Boys Oven

      OMG! did you have your dish with truffle. I love them .. . . i will defintely keep these recipes of yours!

    • Chase Bj酶rnsen Ravndal

      That looks so divine. It is hard to find truffles where I am at now but I will certainly find one when I am back home. I know it is a bit expensive but we need to indulge from time to time. I’ll try this recipe out!

    • valerie

      nice receipe
      good idea
      have a nice day

    • Cakebrain

      Geez, this looks so good. I’ve got two kids. Maybe they can get jobs to support my truffle addiction. The truffle risotto with rock shrimp and pancetta is calling me!

    • Chef E

      After reading the comments I think you have given a lot of people a truffle orgas.. to which I have had in Alba personally, and somehow a few ended up in my luggage…and in my own creations…keep up the great blogging.

    • Choosy Beggar Tina

      I particularly enjoy that you said the black truffle and shrimp risotto serves 6, but really it would serve 1 because there’s no way that I would share. And I can’t even guarantee that I would spread this out over 6 sittings either, realistically.

    • Bella Baita View

      Nice to see you use ingredients from our part of the world. If you need to do some culinary research on holiday some time, we live about an hour away rom Alba in the mountains and enjoy going to some of the smaller (ie more affordable) truffle festivals aside from Alba’s and the auction at Grinzane Cavour.

    • Alejandra

      Oh yum… I want truffles and dont’ worry zen, I love love love to watch my food gettin’ it on!

    • Anonymous

      For all of you in the market of fresh white truffles, contact Sabatino Truffles. The leader in truffle products. 702.327.6267

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