February 11, 2012

Basic Risotto

Ah, risotto...nothing like it.  Risotto is way easier than you think and there are many versions to choose from.  There are also great ways to re-purpose your leftovers (see IDEAS below), so don’t be discouraged by the serving size if you're cooking for one.  Risotto is also a great dish to make for a dinner party.  I don’t think there’s anyone who doesn’t like creamy rice!

Makes 6 Servings

1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1 large shallot, finely chopped
4 1/2 cups reduced-sodium canned chicken broth (or veggie broth)
3/4 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Fresh cracked pepper

In a pot, heat up the broth and keep hot on low heat while preparing your rice. 

In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Saute shallot until tender, about 5 minutes. Add rice, stir until well coated and slightly sticking to the bottom of the pan, 1 to 2 minutes. Then add the wine and stir until absorbed, about 1 minute. Season with a big pinch of salt.

Add about 1 cup of warm broth to the rice. Cook, stirring frequently, until absorbed. Continue adding broth, 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly until most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 25 minutes total. You may not need all the broth.  The rice should be cooked until tender but not mushy; keep tasting it for doneness and to make sure it‘s seasoned enough. Stir vigorously for a couple of minutes at the end of the cooking time which will ensure a creamy but tight consistency.

Remove pan from heat. Stir in Parmesan, a pinch of salt and a few turns of fresh cracked pepper and serve immediately.


Can‘t eat it all?  Eat your leftover risotto as a side dish the next day by heating it up in a pan with a bit of extra chicken stock or water.  You can also make awesome pan-fried risotto patties, see Risotto Leftover Patties!

Variations on Basic Risotto: You can add your favorite fresh vegetable to risotto toward the end of the cooking process.  Quick cooking veggies like peas, spinach and asparagus can be tossed in raw a few minutes before the risotto is done. Longer cooking ingredients should be sautéed in a separate pan before being added to the risotto.  See Mushroom Risotto and Bacon, Pea and Leek Risotto.

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