Risotto; Basics

Risotto; Basics

This is the basic how to make risotto recipe to which you may add a multitude of ingredients, prepared ahead and added in the last stage of the cooking, using whatever is seasonal and on hand; vegetables, herbs, mushrooms, meats, seafood, beans, ragu, and of course…wine!  I have posted a seasonal recipe, Risotto with Mushrooms, Zucchini, and Peppers (posted in Mains and Vegetables & Sides). The idea is, using the basic risotto recipe, to adapt and improvise as you like. Risotto is real Italian comfort food and certainly can be a meal in itself.   Buon appetito!

  • 5 cups chicken stock, heated
  • 2 + 1 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion; minced
  • 1 cup Arborio rice, unwashed (sushi rice as a reasonable substitute)
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt + more to taste after finished cooking
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper + more to taste
  • 1/2+1/2 cups grated Parmegiano

Heat the stock and keep it over a low flame to add to the risotto as you cook.

In a wide heavy bottomed saucepan or saute pan set over medium-low heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and olive oil together until just bubbling. Add the onions and a pinch of salt and pepper and saute, stirring frequently, until tender and translucent, about 10 minutes. Raise the heat to medium and add the rice and stir to completely coat with the butter and olive oil, about 3 minutes until the rice looks slightly translucent. Add the wine and continue stirring until all the wine has been absorbed into the rice. Add 1 cup of the warm stock and continue to stir until the stock has been absorbed before adding the next cup. Continue to stir until the stock is absorbed. Continue adding 1 cup of stock at a time until 4 cups have been added and absorbed. From that point on add ½ cup additions of stock until the rice is tender, but with a slight bite (al dente), and decidedly a loose creamy consistency; about 20 to 25 minutes total cooking time.

Remove from the heat and fold in the remaining tablespoon of butter and 1/2 cup of the Parmegiano. Serve with the remaining Parmegiano on the table.

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