I consider risotto to be the sexiest of rice dishes. It's Italian, it's creamy, and it takes time (and love) to make it. Risotto is typically made with red or white wine, but why not jazz it up a bit for Valentine's Day by making it with champagne? It gives you a great excuse to pop open a bottle of bubbly and you can enjoy a glass or two while stirring away. Risotto pairs nicely with fish, poultry, or meat and this version can easily be modified to include pancetta or mushrooms or asparagus... whatever floats your fancy! To make this for your happy single self or for your sweet boy toy,

Champagne Risotto
From Cucina Testa Rossa

2 1/2 cups risotto rice (such as arborio)
3 shallots, chopped (or 1 onion, but I prefer shallots)
3 cloves garlic, chopped
olive oil
4-5 cups chicken stock/chicken broth (or water in a pinch)
2 cups champagne
½ cup crème fraîche (or heavy cream) – optional

  1. Sauté shallots in olive oil until translucent.
  2. Add garlic and rice and sauté for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add 1 cup of champagne and stir until almost all absorbed.
  4. Continue adding stock/broth in 1-cup amounts. Continue stirring and cook until almost done.
  5. Add champagne as last liquid and cook til done.
  6. Take off heat and stir in crème fraîche.