Start by preparing the aromatic stock. In a small pot pour the water, then add thyme, rosemary and sage. Add the salt, too.
Bring the water to a boil over medium heat. When it starts boiling, lower the heat and let it simmer for about 2 minutes. Put this aside. If you use it immediately you will not need to reheat it, but if you make it well in advance, be sure to warm it up before using it for the risotto.
Now it's time for the risotto. Finely chop the onion (if you do not feel to master the knife skills properly, use a cutter, but do not chop it too much or it will become a mush).
In a larger shallow pan, add half the butter, the chopped onion and half a teaspoon of salt: the salt will help you to cook the onion without burning it. Sauté the onion in the butter over low heat until it becomes translucent and soft. Just a few minutes will be enough.
Add the rice and toast it. Stir it with a wooden spoon into the sautéed onion and let it toast, always stirring, over medium-low heat, until the rice will be translucent, almost pearly. Again, a few minutes will be enough.
Pour the white wine over the rice: let it evaporate, stirring with the wooden spoon, until the rice has absorbed it.
Now cook the risotto by pouring the hot aromatic stock in at least 4 times. Cook the risotto over medium-low heat, stirring very often. Doing this, the risotto will become creamier thanks to the starch released by the rice.
Halfway through the cooking, when you have used about half of the vegetable stock, add the apple, peeled and cut into small cubes.
Keep on adding the stock to cook the rice. This whole process will take about 10 minutes, not more, so remember to taste the risotto every now and then. It will be ready when you feel it soft, but still with a hard soul inside, slightly al dente.
When you have finished the stock, or maybe you’ll have just a tiny bit left, and when the rice will be cooked but still al dente, remove the risotto from the heat, add the butter, the grated cheese and the smoked trout, cut in small strips. Stir well: this is what we call mantecare, in Italian, which means almost to cream the butter and the cheese into the rice. Taste it one last time to see if it still needs a little salt and you are ready to serve it in the dishes.
Sprinkle with black pepper, and if you want with more diced apple cooked in butter and sage. and add some toasted hazelnut. Enjoy your meal.