A few months ago I had a delicious risotto at La Masseria in East Greenwich. I told General Manager Emanuele “Manny” Tampella I always enjoy risotto at restaurants. I do make it at home but it has to be the only thing I cook for dinner with all the stirring and time it takes. He told me he makes risotto in 20 minutes. I had to learn his secret.

I did just that when Tampella cooked for a Small Bites video at Hope & Main. The Providence Journal collaborates with the Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau to film and post the videos at goprovidence.com.

Cooked rice is the key. How could I have not known this?

Growing up in the little town of Brenno, north of Milan, Tampella's mother made risotto with basmati rice. I bet she didn't know the cooked rice secret.

Starting with a cup of cooked rice means you've got the dish ready in no time. It's perfect for two or three but you can easily double or triple the recipe.

The other secret is to use warmed broth, chicken or vegetable, to add to the pan each time the rice starts to dry out. If you use cold broth, it will not be easily absorbed into the rice. 

Pear, Walnut & Gorgonzola Risotto

- 4 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth), you may need more or less 

- 1 tablespoon olive oil

- 3 tablespoons butter

- 1 tablespoon chopped red onion

- 1 cup basmati rice, cooked 

- 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped 

- 1/2 cup pear, sliced into cubes, with skin on

- 1/2 cup prosecco or white wine

- 1/2 cup gorgonzola cheese, crumbled 

- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Warm broth in a saucepan and keep on low flame or setting. 

Warm olive oil and butter in a large saucepan or saute pan. Add onion and cook until it is blonde. 

Add rice and stir. Add the pear and the walnuts.

When the rice starts to stick, add wine and stir until the wine evaporates. 

Then you begin adding the warm broth, a ladle at a time. Each time the rice starts to dry out, add more broth.

When the rice is creamy, take the pan off the heat. Add the two cheeses to finish. Once they are melted into the risotto, the dish is ready to serve. 

Details: La Masseria, 223 Main St., East Greenwich, (401) 398-0693, masseriari.com.