Parmesan Broth

One of the most important parts in making a risotto is the broth as so much is used in the recipe.  For a white truffle risotto, you need a flavorful broth to complement the rich, funky flavor of the truffle. During the year I save my Parmigiana Reggiano rinds and freeze them in zip lock bags.  If you don’t have enough to make the full cup required here, check with your local cheese shop to see if they sell them.  To supplement my supply, I headed to Whole Foods’ cheese department in my hood where they were selling them at $8.99 a pound.


2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, peeled and quartered

1 head of garlic, cut in half crosswise

½ cup mushroom stems or broken pieces

1 leek, cleaned, green parts only

1 cup vegetable peels (anything goes-potato, carrots, celery onion skins, fennel fronds)

1 bay leaf

6 branches Italian parsley

6 branches fresh thyme

1 teaspoon pepper corns

1 cup dry white wine

1-pound Parmigiana Reggiano rinds, rinsed and cleaned of any mold. (Rinds from other hard cheeses can be included but make sure the majority is Parmigiana!)

Cooking directions:

1.       Put olive oil in a large pot over a medium flame.  Cook onion, garlic, mushrooms, leek tops, vegetables peels, herbs, and pepper corns together for 5-7 minutes or until garlic is nicely browned. 

2.       Add the wine and bring broth to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes

3.       Add cheese rinds and 8 cups of water.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 ½ - 2 hours, making sure that you stir frequently to avoid cheese rinds from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

4.       Strain through a sieve into a large bowl.  Save 3 cups needed for your risotto and freeze the rest in air tight containers.

5.       Leftover broth can be added to soups and stews as well as used for deglazing pans and braising vegetables.