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Rice Dressed With Fontina and Butter

Rice Dressed With Fontina and Butter 3.000

Jennifer Chase for The Washington Post

Feb 19, 2018

Think of this as the simplest, no-stir risotto. In Italy’s Piedmont region, says cookbook author Anna Del Conte, this dish is made with the local fontina (Valle d’Aosta), which you can typically find here at well-stocked cheese counters.

3 main-course or 4 first-course servings

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 3 main-course or 4 first-course servings

  • 2 teaspoons coarse sea salt, or more as needed
  • 1 3/4 cups (12 ounces) dried arborio or carnaroli rice
  • 4 ounces fontina cheese (see headnote)
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter


Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the 2 teaspoons of salt and the rice; cook for about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut the cheese into 1/8-inch dice; put half in an ovenproof serving bowl, then transfer the bowl to the oven.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Once the foam subsides, increase the heat to medium and cook for 5 to 6 minutes total, just until the butter starts to turn golden and some of its solids begin to brown. Then pull the pan off the heat. Pour half into the bowl in the oven.

Once the rice is done, drain but leave it quite wet and transfer it to the bowl in the oven. Mix thoroughly, and then add the remaining cheese. Toss until all the cheese has melted. Taste and add more salt, as needed. Pour the remaining melted butter over; serve right away.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from “Classic Food of Northern Italy,” by Anna Del Conte (Pavilion, 2017).

Tested by Charlotte Druckman and Bonnie S. Benwick.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving (based on 4, using 1/2 teaspoon salt): 510

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 20g 31%

Saturated Fat: 13g 65%

Cholesterol: 65mg 22%

Sodium: 510mg 21%

Total Carbohydrates: 68g 23%

Dietary Fiber: 0g 0%

Sugar: 0g

Protein: 13g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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