I had never eaten a cheese risotto until I attended ‘Slow Cheese’ in Bra, Piedmont, last European autumn. It is such an easy risotto and could very well be made with whatever bits of cheese are lurking in the dairy compartment of the fridge. However, you do need to have a creamy cheese such as the fabulous Rbiola or find a local one to your liking.

You also need parmesan or grana, the wonderful hard grating cheeses from Emilia Romagna, and a melting cheese such as Swiss like Emmentaler. 


Serves 4-6



  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium brown onion, finely chopped
  • 325 g arborio rice
  • 1 ½ - 1 ¾ Litres chicken stock, simmering
  • *50 g Robiola (soft cheese imported from Italy
  • 50 g soft chevre (goat) cheese
  • 50 g finely grated parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons white wine, chilled
  • 50 g Swiss cheese, finely chopped




Stir over medium heat until the onion softens, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and stir for 2 minutes. Take a note of the time. Ladle in just enough of the simmering stock to just cover the rice. Stir until the stock has reduced.

Add more stock, never drowning the rice, stirring in between each addition until you reach the 10 minute mark. Add the fist 3 cheeses and continue to cook, stirring constantly and `feeding’ the rice with simmering stock as needed.


At the 16 minute mark, add the swiss chees and stir until melted. At the 18 minute mark, begin testing the rice for doneness. When it is al dente, slightly firm but not raw, remove from the heat and stir in the chilled wine.This stops the cooking.


Put on the lid and leave 2 minutes. Spoon into warmed pasta plates. Serve with a tossed green salad and crusty rolls.


*If unavailable use an extra 50g chevre Heat a sturdy based pot, add the oil and the onion.


© Copyright Elise Pascoe 2008



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