5 - 6 cups of chicken stock or 3 cups of canned chicken broth diluted with
3 cups of water
3 tablespoons of butter
1 medium sized onion, finely chopped
3 ounces (1/3 of a cup) of prosciutto, finely chopped, (optional)
2 tablespoons of tomato puree
2 cups of Arborio rice
2/3 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper
salt to taste
3 - 4 plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup of fresh basil, torn
In a medium saucepan, bring the stock to a simmer and maintain a simmer over a moderately low heat.
In a large heavy stainless steel saucepan or flameproof casserole melt the butter.
Add the onion and prosciutto and sauté over moderate heat until the onion is softened and translucent, about 3 minutes.
Stir in the tomato puree and cook for 1 minute longer.
Add the rice and stir for 1 to 2 minutes until it is well coated with the butter and tomato puree.
Add 1/2 cup of the simmering stock and cook, stirring constantly until the rice has absorbed most of the liquid.
Adjust the heat if necessary to maintain a simmer. Gradually adding stock, 1/2 cup at a time, cook stirring constantly until the rice is almost tender but slightly crunchy in the center, 18 -22 minutes.
Add the cheese and season with the pepper and salt to taste.
Continue to cook, stirring and adding stock as necessary, 1/4 cup at a time, until the rice is tender but still firm, 3- 6 minutes longer.
Stir in the tomatoes and basil and serve immediately