Recipe: Lemon, thyme and mascarpone risotto

By Silvia Nacamulli, May 13, 2011

This year at Gefiltefest I will be demonstrating two Italian cheese recipes suitable for Shavuot. This lovely risotto is one of them. I hope to see many of you at the festival.

Time: 30 minutes
Serves: six as a starter, four as a main course.


● 5-6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
● 1 red onion, finely sliced
● 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
● Approximately 1 litre vegetable stock
● 320g Arborio or Carnaroli risotto rice
● Splash of white wine
● Zest and juice of a lemon
● 2 tbsp mascarpone cheese
● Small bunch of fresh lemon thyme or regular thyme
● Salt and freshly ground black pepper
● Parmesan cheese to taste


● Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the onion. Cook for a few minutes until the onion is soft and golden. Add the garlic, season and stir.
● Prepare the stock by diluting 2 tablespoons of vegetable bouillon or a stock cube in a separate saucepan with the boiling water, and keep it simmering over a low heat.
● TIP: Make your own vegetable stock in advance by simmering 3 litres of water with a peeled carrot, peeled onion, a celery stick, tomato (optional), small bunch of parsley, 1 courgette and a tablespoon of rock salt. Simmer uncovered for 1–1 ½ hours. Strain and discard the vegetables.
● Add the rice to the onion and garlic and stir until thoroughly coated, add a splash of white wine and stir until the wine is absorbed.
● Ladle stock onto the rice until it is covered. Stir slowly until the rice has absorbed the stock. Repeat ladling and stirring for 10 minutes.
● Stir in the lemon zest and juice and mascarpone. Keep adding ladles of stock as before and cook for an extra 7-8 minutes until the rice is tender but still al dente; about 18-20 minutes total cooking time.
● Turn off the heat and add the thyme and the parmesan cheese. Stir well, cover, and leave it to set for a couple of minutes.
● Serve immediately sprinkled with more grated parmesan, black pepper and a little fresh thyme.

Silvia will be teaching Recipes from the Jewish-Sicilian Kitchen on May 31 at Divertimenti Marylebone, and Summer Recipes from the Jewish-Italian Kitchen on June 29 at Divertimenti Brompton Road. For more details visit

Last updated: 10:10am, May 13 2011