Risotto Recipe: How to Make the Best Risotto at Home
A lot of people love eating risotto. Unfortunately, not many realize that risotto is very easy to make at home. It is true that the process requires attention and care. However, it is one of those rice dishes that is so versatile you can turn an easy risotto into a culinary masterpiece. Here’s how:
The Key Ingredients
There are only two very fundamental ingredients when it comes to making risotto. These are rice and stock. When choosing rice for this dish, it is important to choose one with low-amylose and high-starch content.
The best varieties are those that are short or medium grains as they are able to absorb liquids a lot better than long grains. The best Italian risotto-makers use Vialone Nano, Maratelli, or Camaroli rice in their best risotto recipe. Unfortunately, these are very expensive. A good choice will be Arborio or Padano. Most restaurants serve risotto made with Arborio rice.
Another key ingredient of risotto is the stock. This is the liquid that the rice will need to absorb. As it absorbs the liquid, the rice will release its starchy goodness. It also lends the dish its signature creaminess. You can use almost any stock that you want. In Italy, different regions have their preferred stock to go with risotto. For example, in Milan, they prefer beef stock. Italy’s Veneto region is famous for using stock made from fresh young pods of green peas.
The other ingredients include white wine, butter or olive oil, and onion. You can also try other ingredients. Beef, seafood, poultry, vegetables, and other ingredients can further elevate the exciting flavors of your homemade risotto.
Related Post: Best Rice Cookers
A Simple Risotto Recipe to Wow Your Family
The following simple risotto recipe will help start your risotto-making adventures. Once you get the hang of making this wonderful dish, you can then start adding other ingredients to elevate your risotto even further.
- 1.5 cups of Arborio rice
- 37 ounces of chicken stock, unsalted
- 25 ounces of dry white wine (you can also use vermouth)
- ¾ cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, finely grated
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped fine
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 large piece of onion, chopped fine
- 1 tablespoon of butter, unsalted, divided into two ½ tablespoons
- ½ head of celery, chopped fine
- ¼ teaspoon of salt
- Heat the chicken stock and keep it warm. You can also use beef stock, fish stock, or vegetable stock.
- Turn on the heat to low. Place a pan and add the olive oil. Heat the olive oil before adding ½ tablespoon butter. Sauté the garlic, onions, and celery until fragrant and soft. Do not allow these ingredients to turn dark.
- Add the Arborio rice and increase the heat to medium high. Stir the rice, making sure that the juices of the oil-butter-vegetable mixture will coat every grain. You should see the grains turning more translucent. Keep stirring and coating the rice with the butter mixture for about a minute.
- Add the white wine or vermouth. Do not let up in stirring. Do not worry about any harsh flavor of alcohol in your risotto recipe. This will evaporate as you continue cooking, leaving behind the tasty essence of the wine.
- You can start adding the first ladle of stock the moment you notice the rice has absorbed most of the wine. Add a small amount of salt. Lower the heat and allow the rice to simmer. Lowering the heat will prevent the risotto from getting cooked very fast. It is able to bring out its creaminess a lot better this way.
- Stir the rice in such a way that the individual grains will bump into each other. It is best to shake or agitate the pan. Doing so prevents the introduction of air into the risotto. This can lower the temperature and affect the cooking of the rice. Shaking the pan can rub the individual grains against each other, allowing them to release their starchy goodness.
- The rice will absorb the stock and release its starch. Add another ladle of the stock as soon as you see the rice has absorbed enough of the stock.
- Continue the cycle of adding stock, stirring, and pan shaking to bring out the starchy creaminess of the rice. The whole process can take about 15 minutes or so. Make sure to taste your rice every time you add a ladleful. Add salt if you have to. In case you no longer have stock and the rice is still not cooked, you can add boiling water instead.
- Always check the texture of the rice. It should be soft. However, it should also have a certain ‘bite’ to it.
- Once cooked, turn off the heat. Add the remaining ½ tablespoon of butter and the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. You can also use Pecorino Romano cheese if you want. Mix well.
- Cover the rice dish and leave it for 1 to 2 minutes. This will help ensure the oozy creaminess of the rice dish.
Making the perfect risotto is very easy. It does require adequate care and attention. This will help ensure you get the creamy richness of the dish.
- A Basic Risotto Recipe – Jamie Oliver
- Geoffrey Zakarian’s Top 10 Tips for Cooking Risotto – Food Network