Risotto alle Melanzane

2 cups eggplant, peeled and cubed
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 small tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped, or 1/2 cup canned italian plum tomatoes well drained and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup diced mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
5 cups broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon oil
1/3 cup finely minced onion
1 1/2 cups arborio rice

Put the eggplant cubes in a colander. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon salt and allow to stand for 30 minutes. Pat dry with paper towel. Heat the olive oil and butter in a skillet over moderate heat; when the butter begins to foam, add the eggplant and tomatoes and cook for 5 - 10 minutes, until the eggplant is tender. Turn off heat and set aside.

Bring the broth to a steady simmer in a saucepan on top of the stove. Keep it simmering.

Heat the butter and oil in a heavy 4 quart casserole over moderate heat. Add the onion and sauté for 1 - 2 minutes, until it begins to soften, being careful not to brown it. Add the rice to the above; using a wooden spoon, stir for 1 minute, making sure all the grains are well coated. Add the wine and stir until it is completely absorbed. Begin to add the simmering broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring frequently. Wait until each addition is almost completely absorbed before adding the next 1/2 cup, reserving about 1/4 cup to add at the end. Stir frequently to prevent sticking.

After approximately 18 minutes, when the rice is tender, but still firm, add the reserved broth and the eggplant and tomatoes, mozzarella, Parmesan and parsley, and stir vigorously until the cheeses are melted and combined with the rice. Serve immediately.

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