Risotto Al Prosecco

- 300-450g (10-1/2 oz to 1 lb) rice for risotto, preferably Carnaroli or vialone nano

- 2-3 shallots, finely minced

- 2 glasses of Prosecco

- Vegetable or chicken broth, preferably homemade.

- Butter

- 75g (2-1/2 oz) Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated

1. Melt a good knob of butter (50g or half a stick) in a large saucepan. Sauté the shallots very gently in the butter for a minute or two, taking care not to brown the butter or the shallots.

2. Turn the flame up to medium. Add the rice and let it "toast" for a couple of minutes, then add a glass of prosecco. Let it to evaporate.

3. Now add a ladleful of broth to the rice. Simmer over medium heat, stirring from time to time, until the broth has been absorbed by the rice. Add another ladleful of broth and repeat for a total of 18 minutes or so. The rice is done when it's still al dente but without any chalkiness in the center.

4. When the rice is almost done, add a second glass of prosecco and let it evaporate—only partially, like me, you like your risotto quite loose.

5. Off heat, add the Parmigiano-Reggiano and, if you like, another knob of butter to the rice. Stir vigorously for 30 seconds or so, until the cheese and butter have melted and the rice has developed a nice, creamy texture.

6. Serve immediately.

The Prosecco Risotto is good on its own, but you can treat it as a kind of culinary canvas for all sorts of garnishes, too. Shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano for instance, or if you want to be really extravagant, white truffle. Or a sprinkling of minced chives or salmon caviar or pomegranate seeds. Or some toasted pine nuts or crumbled walnuts for a little crunch. And cooked garnishes like sautéed mushrooms or shrimp are a wonderful complement, too.