Although I guess that is not even true, since the original recipe was from Giada; granted, I have tweaked it for my own taste, since I didn't think it was quite lemony enough. Oh, and I don't serve it in little hollowed out lemons. ;)
The Pine nuts are completely optional. I will be honest, I thought they would be tasty, cause I love lemon & pine nuts together, but I didn't particularly care for the texture it created.
Risotto Alla Limone
2 1/4 - 2 3/4 cups Chicken Stock (I tried Vegetable stock once, but the flavor was less than stellar)
2 TB Unsalted Butter, plus 1 TB for later
1 Medium Shallot, diced
1 Clove of Garlic, Minced
1 cup Arborio or Carnaroli rice (Arborio is easier to find)
1/2 cup room temperature dry white wine (Australian Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio)
2 TB grated Asiago d'Allevo, Grana Padano, or Parmegiano-Reggiano
2 TB Mascarpone cheese
1 1/2 oz Lemon Juice
Zest of 1/2 Lemon
3/4 tsp kosher salt
3/4 tsp finely ground White Pepper
(optional) A few Toasted Pine Nuts
Bring the stock to a simmer in a small sauce pan over low heat.
In a medium, heavy saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat; then add the shallot and sweat until it begins to turn translucent; then add the garlic and continue to sweat for another minute.
Add the rice and stir to coat with the butter, then continue cooking for about 2 minutes.
Add the room temperature wine and simmer until it has almost evaporated, about 2 minutes.
Add 1/2 cup of simmering broth and stir until almost completely absorbed, about 2 minutes.
Continue adding the broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring frequently and allowing each addition of the broth to absorb and pull the starch out of the rice before adding the next, until the rice is tender but still al dente and the mixture is creamy, about 18 - 20 minutes. (Which is pretty standard for Risotto)
Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining TB of butter, 2 TB of Parmegiano-Reggiano & the Mascarpone.
Cover and let set for 3-5 minutes before serving.
Before serving, Season with Salt and White pepper.
Then add the Lemon juice and Zest. (Waiting until the very end preserves all the luscious lemon oils)
Spoon onto a plate or a shallow bowl....
Garnish with a Lemon Slice and Pine Nuts, if desired.