How to Make Risotto

This delicious, creamy Italian rice dish can work as almost any part of a meal. It is extremely versatile and can be made with a variety of vegetables or meats, poultry, and fish. The list of possible ingredients is limitless and is super flexible to seasonal changes. Spring risottos may consist of asparagus and peas, and summer risottos can have eggplant and fresh tomatoes. Our favorite happens to be winter risotto with butternut squash, mmm a bowl-full is so warming.

Making risotto takes some planning, and sometimes a bit of elbow grease. You want to have your flavors in mind and have all your ingredients ready on hand so that you can focus on giving the risotto the attention it needs whilst cooking. You want to get your hands on special risotto rice such as arborio or carnaroli, as these have the appropriate absorbency and starch content. You’ll need some butter or oil, your chosen flavor ingredients, and the correct flavored stock to complement them. The rice to liquid ratio will be 1:3 for this recipe.

Stirring Italian risotto mantecato

Getty Images / Moment / Sergio Amiti

 

You’ll be working with a saucepan or a tall-sided pot that distributes the heat evenly. Keep the stock simmering nearby, and add the butter to your saucepan. Base flavors such as onions and leeks should be added now and fried until fragrant. Add all of the rice without rinsing, and stir to coat the rice. Keep stirring until you smell a toasted aroma. Now you will add just enough stock to cover the rice, continuously stirring. Once the stock is absorbed by the rice, flavors such as saffron and bay leaves can be infused at this point.

Add some more stock, again just covering the rice, and adjust the heat to maintain a gentle bubble. Keep stirring the rice gently, until all the stock has been absorbed. Stirring is key for a good risotto, if you let it sit, it’ll stew and become soggy. As the rice begins to cook, it will absorb the stock more slowly. Add the final part of the stock in smaller portions, continuously stirring, while the rice begins to obtain a creamy texture. Once all the stock has been absorbed, fold in any final flavors, be it roasted vegetables or fish, and make sure they’re prewarmed before adding. Once the desired consistency has been achieved, you can enrich it with a touch of Parmesan, and serve.