Risotto

Risotto is a traditional Italian comfort food made most often with a variety of short-grain rice called Arborio, which absorbs a lot of[ liquid and becomes quite plump and creamy. We usually prepare rice by adding the liquid to the rice all at once and leaving it to cook, covered and unattended. With risotto, you add the hot liquid to the rice gradually, stirring constantly. All this stirring may seem like a lot of work, but the warm, creamy risotto that results is well worth the effort.]

Yield:
Serves 4 to 6 as a main dish
Level:
Easy
Ingredients
  • 1 medium-size yellow onion
  • 4 tablespoons butter (1/2 stick)
  • 5 cups or more chicken broth, canned or homemade
  • 2 cups Arborio rice (available in many supermarkets or specialty food stores)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Directions

Preparing the Rice

Peel and finely chop the onion.

Melt the butter in a 4-to-5-quart saucepan over medium heat, stirring regularly.

Add the onion and cook, continuing to stir, until it turns soft and translucent. Turn the heat down if the onion starts to brown.

Meanwhile, pour the chicken broth into a separate saucepan, set over medium heat, and bring to a gentle simmer. Adjust the heat as needed to maintain this simmer the whole time you are preparing the risotto.

Once the onion is soft, add the rice and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for about 3 minutes. Adjust the heat as necessary -- if the rice is cooked at too high a heat, it will turn brown and take on an undesirable flavor.

Adding the Liquid to the Rice

Using a ladle, scoop up about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of broth. Pour it in the pan with the rice, stirring constantly with a spoon. After the first addition of broth, the rice mixture will look a bit soupy.

As the rice begins to cook, stir it constantly, making sure that you scrape along the bottom of the pan so that it does not stick. You should see little bubbles popping up on the liquid from time to time. If it bubbles more vigorously than this, turn the heat down to medium-low.

When most of the liquid is absorbed into the rice and the rice begins to look a bit dry, add another ladle of broth to the pan and stir constantly, as before.

Determining When the Risotto Is Cooked

Continue to add the broth in 1/2-to-3/4-cup batches and stir the rice until you have used most of the broth (this will probably take about 20 minutes). It is now time to test whether the risotto is cooked. Spoon up a grain of rice and bite into it -- it should be tender without being too mushy. If it is still crunchy and tastes a bit starchy, you will need to continue adding liquid and cooking further.

If it looks as if you will run out of chicken broth and your rice is still not cooked, don't be alarmed. Because of variations in individual stoves and cooking temperatures, you may need more liquid than called for in the recipe. Simply heat up another cup or 2 of chicken broth. If you run out of broth, use hot water.

When the rice is tender and the risotto has a creamy consistency, almost like thick oatmeal, it is done.

Serving the Risotto

Add salt and pepper to the risotto, about 1/4 teaspoon at a time, until it seems well seasoned to you. Stir.

Add the grated Parmesan cheese and stir well.

Serve the risotto immediately in warm bowls and have extra grated Parmesan on hand.

Risotto with Tomatoes and Basil:

Take 4 Roma tomatoes, cut off and discard the stem tops, and cut the tomatoes into small pieces. Chop enough fresh basil leaves into small pieces to make about 1 cup. Put 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet, and turn the heat to medium-high. When the bottom of the skillet feels hot when you put your open hand 1 inch from the bottom, add the tomatoes and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Stir for 3 or 4 minutes, until they seem soft. Put the cooked tomatoes aside, and when the risotto is done, stir the tomatoes and basil into the hot risotto. Stir to mix well; taste for salt and add some if needed. Serve immediately and pass some grated Parmesan cheese.

Risotto with Spinach and Garlic:

Peel and chop 3 large cloves of garlic into small pieces, and put them on a piece of waxed paper. Rinse 1/2 bunch of spinach leaves, and shake off the excess water. Cut off the stems, bunch the leaves up, and cut them into thin strips, then cut crosswise into small pieces. Put 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet and turn the heat to medium-high. When the bottom of the skillet feels hot when you put your open hand, palm side down, 1 inch from the bottom of the skillet, it is ready. Add the garlic to the oil and stir for a minute. Turn the heat to low, and add the spinach. Press the spinach down with a spatula, lightly salt and pepper it, and turn it over with a spatula. The spinach will wilt down almost immediately. Take the skillet off the stove, put a lid on the skillet, and when the risotto is done, stir the garlic and spinach into the risotto. Serve immediately, and pass some grated Parmesan cheese.


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    It was very creamy but rather bland. I replaced a cup of chicken stock with a cup of white wine (added in while the rice was cooking with the onions), although next time I'll have to add more wine. Garlic and shrimp (or asparagus, mushrooms, lobster, etc..) would have definitely made this a better dish. As for your basic Risotto recipe, it was alright.
    We made this for Mother's Day and it turned out perfect!! I usually do a "box kit", so decided to make it from scratch for mother's day, and I am glad I did. It was so simple, tasted wonderful, and everyone took seconds! We served it with butterflied grilled shrimp, asparagus, a salad, and dessert. I have put this recipe where I store my top 20 "go to" recipes in my kitchen. I agree with other reviewer that it does take longer than it states...plan for about 45min.
    This was my first attempt ever to make risotto, so I looked for a simple recipe. Even halving the recipe it came out exactly the way it was supposed, and was delicious! I served it with pan seared scallops. Next time I will try more add-ins, like veggies, etc.
    It had a good flavor and everything was as it was explained. The one problem I had was it took about 30 min. more cooking time than was said in the recipe. I would suggest doing about 3 or 4 trial runs with this one before serving guest.I served this with baked chicken and it would have been great if the chicken was planned for with a 50 min. alotment for the rice instead of 30 min. The chicken dried out on the extended wait period. In their defense they did say that stove temp. would vary. Last word Practice .
    The only thing I would change is a small onion vs. the medium one. Other than that, perfeft! Creamy, rich. Simply outstanding!
    Made this tonight for dinner but added garlic to the recipe. I used pecorino romano cheese instead. My boyfriend loved it! It took more like 30 min to cook though. I will make this one again!
    I was surprised at how creamy the risotto came out, just by slowly cooking it with chicken broth and a little butter. However, I questioned if all the stirring and pouring was really necessary...I started to wonder how it would turn out if I just threw it all together in my rice cooker. It was really tasty after adding just a little bit of salt, pepper, and cheese. I added the tomatoes and basil, but actually preferred it without.
    This is the best risotto recipe i've tried, my kids love it, it's very creamy.
    I made this with friends and we absolutely loved it. We're all kind of health nuts, so this recipe was great - filling, but tastes light and wholesome, too.
    Why does everyone like this ? It looks tastes and smells like Campbell's chicken and rice soup. Except pasty. And bland. I guess I'm more of a rice purist.
    I did it exactly how the recipe stated, except used all chicken broth, no wine...was afraid to attempt..it was good, but next time, I won't be afraid to alter broth, and cheese...I thought it was a little too cheesy,..but all in all, was the easiest recipe...
    I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out, being a new cook and everything, but this was easy and amazing. The directions are a bit misleading with how much there is to do, the thing that took the longest was the cutting and cooking of the onions. This is easy and amazing.
    This recipe was very easy and it turned out great. Very creamy and tasty! We did use 1 cup of white wine in the liquid, which was nice. It took a bit longer than the recipe says (about 30 minutes). We also needed to add an extra cup of liquid.
    Great risotto - easy to pair with lots of other entrees and dishes. We served it with grilled salmon and it was outstanding!
    I've always been afraid to even try it, but this recipe was easy to follow and the results were great! Now I find myself thinking up what I can add to this recipe to mix it up a bit. HUGE hit with the family!
    This recipe is so easy to put together and really delicious. It is a great base for other Risotto ideas. Just start adding ings. and create.
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