How to Make Flaweless Lemon Risotto


A Journey to Capri, Italy

Prep Time: 1 hour
Serves: 12


I love Food Network Chef Giada De Laurentiis and often turn to her recipes for inspiration. She dined at my restaurant once and she is as lovely in person as she seems on TV. Check out her recipe by clicking on the link below. I made just a few tweaks to her creation for a Flaweless twist for a crowd!


Flaweless Lemon Risotto


  • 4 cups vegetable broth

  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice, plus the juice and zest of 2 lemons, plus more zest for garnish

  • 4 tablespoons butter, plus 2 tablespoons

  • 2 large shallot, diced

  • 2 cup Arborio rice

  • 1 cup Italian dry white wine

  • 4 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus 4 tablespoons

  • 4 tablespoons mascarpone cheese

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 12 lemons, for serving


  1. In a medium saucepan bring the broth and 1 cup lemon juice to a simmer. Cover the broth and keep hot over low heat.

  2. In a medium, heavy saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Add the shallot and saute until tender but not brown, about 3 minutes. Add the rice and stir to coat with the butter. Add the wine and simmer until the wine has almost completely evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of the simmering broth and stir until almost completely absorbed, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking the rice, adding the broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and allowing each addition of the broth to absorb before adding the next, until the rice is tender but still firm to the bite and the mixture is creamy, about 18 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoon of butter, 4 tablespoons of Parmesan, mascarpone cheese, the zest and juice from 2 lemons, and the salt and pepper.

  3. To serve, cut 1/4-inch off the bottom of each lemon so they stand on their own. Take 1-inch off the stem end. Using a grapefruit spoon scoop out the flesh of the lemon and discard. Fill each lemon with risotto. Sprinkle the tops with the remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano and lemon zest. Serve immediately*.

Note: I made the risotto in advance of the event and heated it up in the microwave with white wine. This loosened the thickened risotto and also added nice flavor. If you are going to go this route be sure to under cook your risotto so that it still finishes al dente.