Risotto is a perfect example of the Italian talent of turning the simplest ingredients into a deliciously flavorful dish. There, risotto is served as a first course, or “Primi,” to complement a main course. It can easily be punched up with vegetables, cheese, poultry or seafood — scroll down for three fresh variations.
6 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
2 cups Arborio or Carnaroli rice
1 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc, at room temperature
1 to 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated, to taste (optional)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
|Heat the stock
In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the stock to a gentle simmer. Reduce the heat to very low and keep the stock warm on a nearby burner.
|Incorporate a ladleful of stock
Add the wine and cook, stirring, until completely absorbed. Add a small ladleful of the simmering stock and cook, stirring frequently, until the stock is almost completely absorbed.
|Add the stock in increments
Continue to add the stock in small amounts, cooking and stirring the rice until the stock is nearly all absorbed. This will take about 20 minutes. Reserve about 1/4 cup of the chicken stock.
|Stir in the flavorings
Remove the risotto from the heat. Stir in the butter, Parmesan cheese (if using), and salt and pepper to taste. Serve right away. Serves 6.
Blanch 12 ounces asparagus, cut into 2-inch lengths until barely tender and set aside. Follow the recipe to make Basic Risotto. In step 6, add the blanched asparagus with the butter and proceed with the recipe.
In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, melt 2 tablespoons unsalted butter. Add 12 ounces mixed cleaned sliced mushrooms and saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme and set aside. Follow the recipe to make Basic Risotto. In step 6, add the mushroom mixture with the butter and proceed with the recipe.
Follow the recipe to make Basic Risotto. In step 6, omit the butter and stir in 1/2 cup room-temperature mascarpone cheese, 1/4 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese, 1/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and 1/4 cup finely grated Asiago cheese and proceed with the recipe.
Try more of our warm, hearty risotto recipes below:
|Saffron Risotto||Risotto with
|Lemon Risotto||Risotto with