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The Met Opera: Buon Appetito!

A beloved classic of the Italian operatic canon, Donizetti’s effervescent romantic comedy L’Elisir d’Amore is back, complete with a lavish wedding banquet and opera’s most famous potent potable. In celebration of this intoxicating masterpiece, three of the Italian members of the cast to share some of their go-to recipes—perfect for a pre-performance meal or post-curtain midnight snack.

Michele Gamba

Making his Met debut conducting this revival of L’Elisir, Maestro Michele Gamba was born in Milan and regularly takes the podium at his hometown opera house, the legendary Teatro alla Scala. For his recommendation, he looked no further than the timeless risotto alla Milanese.

Risotto alla Milanese

550 grams Carnaroli or Arborio rice
50 grams butter, plus additional for seasoning
30 grams chopped veal marrow
2 tablespoons beef au jus, or an additional 30 grams of marrow
1 cup dry white wine
8–12 cups boiling beef stock
1 small onion, finely diced
5 grams saffron pistils, or 1 packet powdered saffron
Salt, to taste
Grated Parmigiano Reggiano, to taste

Place the marrow, butter, au jus, and onion in a large pot. Cook over low heat until the onion is translucent. Add the rice and mix well until it absorbs most of the liquid. Add the wine and cook for another minute or two. Turn up the heat and begin to ladle the boiling stock over the rice, one ladle at a time, stirring all the while with a wooden spoon...READ MORE 

Author: Christopher Browner


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