This is a typical dish from the Verona area, more specifically from Isola della Scala where it also takes its name. Isola della Scala is small a town on the outskirts of Verona well known for its cultivation of Vialone nano rice. Vialone nano has a round shape and is rich in starch. For this reason it’s one of the best varieties of rice for making risotto dishes. If you happen to come to Verona I strongly suggest you to take the time for a little detour to Isola della Scala and try a local restaurant there or to attend the annual Rice Fair.
This is one of my favorite risotto recipes I hope you enjoy it too. I suggest that you prepare the broth in advance so that you can remove the excess fat when it’s cool. I strongly advise against using can broth or bullion, neither of which is anywhere close in taste to the real thing and will undoubtedly ruin this risotto.
3.5 oz./ g. 100 pork loin
3.5 oz./ g. 100 lean veal
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. finely ground sea salt
a small rosemary sprig
1/2 cup/ g. 75 unsalted butter
freshly grated Parmesan cheese
a pinch of cinnamon
about 5 cups/1.2 liter good meat broth
1 lb. 2oz. / g. 500 Vialone nano rice
1. Cut the pork and veal in small cubes. Season the meat with salt and black pepper and let it marinate for one hour.
2. Melt the butter at low heat in a nonstick pan and when it’s almost all melted add the meat and the rosemary sprig. Cook until done, about 2-3 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste then discard the rosemary sprig.
3. Choose a pan to make the risotto. I use a stainless steel pan with a thick bottom. Add the broth leaving 1-1/2 cups aside to add later if needed.
4. When the broth is hot add the rice, stir it with a wooden spoon and let it simmer at low heat until the broth is all absorbed. It took 15 minutes for my rice but it can take more depending on the rice. If it gets too dry and it’s not cooked yet add a little bit of the remaining broth. Make sure that the broth is always warm.
5. Add the meat and the cinnamon to the rice, combine well, cook for about 3 minutes and serve.
6. Sprinkle the rice with a generous portion of Parmesan.