A taste of Italy on Long Island

May 21, 2010 3:08:15 PM PDT
For a royal taste of Italy, it's King Umberto. A fixture in Elmont for 33 years, the restaurant is just down the road from Belmont Racetrack.

There's grandma-style pizza on one side and an more serious restaurant on the other.

Learn more about the restaurant at www.kingumberto.com.

Below is one of the signature recipes:

Risotto cake
(Makes Six Pieces)

6 oz Arborio Rice
14 oz Chicken Stock or Vegetable stock
2 oz zucchini, small dice (Skin only)
2 oz Vidalia onions, small dice
2 oz roasted red bell pepper, small dice
1 oz imported Gorgonzola, crumbled
3 oz Romano grated cheese
2 tablespoon olive oil
4 oz vegetable oil to pan-fry the risotto cakes
1 tablespoon butter
2 oz white wine
Salt and pepper to taste


Set chicken stock to a slow simmer in a sauce pan.

Sauté the onions with the butter and the olive oil until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the rice and sauté for another 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until lightly toasted. Add the white wine and let it reduce. Then add the simmering chicken stock to the rice and simmer over medium heat for about 10 minutes, or until the rice is just tender with a bit of crispiness, stirring frequently so the rice will not stick to the pan.

Stir in the zucchini, roasted peppers, gorgonzola and 2 oz of Romano cheese, by now all the liquid should be absorbed. Season with salt and pepper.

Place the risotto in a shallow pan and refrigerate for 30 minutes. When the risotto is chilled, using a ring mold or an espresso cup form the risotto cakes.

For the breading

1 large egg (Beaten)
4 oz flour
6 oz bread crumbs

Coat each risotto cake with the flour then dip in the beaten egg and finally coat with the bread crumbs.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, add the vegetable oil to a sauté pan and fry the risotto cakes on all sides, place the risotto cakes in a baking dish, sprinkle the remaining Romano cheese on top and bake about 10 to12 minute until heated trough

Filetto Sauce

2 oz Vidalia onions, thinly sliced
2 oz Parma prosciutto, thinly sliced and Julienned
1 cup Italian peeled tomatoes, chopped
2 oz virgin olive oil
3 basil leaves, chopped
2 oz white wine
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat a medium heavy sauce pan over medium heat, add the virgin olive oil and coat the bottom of the pan, add the onions and sauté for about 3 minutes, until translucent, add the prosciutto and sauté for another 3 minutes, add the white wine and cook until evaporated, add the tomatoes and the basil and simmer over medium heat for about 15 minutes, season to taste with salt and pepper.

Dish Presentation

Ladle the Filetto sauce into bottom of a serving dish, place the risotto cakes on the sauce, garnish with basil leave and serve. Enjoy!