Easy Risotto Recipe 2021
Risotto from riso meaning rice is a northern Italian rice dish cooked with broth until it reaches a creamy consistency. The broth can be derived from meat, fish, or vegetables.
Many types of risotto contain butter, onion, white wine, and parmesan cheese. It is one of the most common ways of cooking rice in Italy. Saffron was originally used for flavour and its signature yellow colour.
Risotto in Italy is normally the first course served before the main course, but risotto alla Milanese is often served with ossobuco alla Milanese as the main course.
There is nothing as creamy and decadent as risotto. This easy rice dish is as comforting as it comes and while it may seem intimidating it really is simple. Each time you make it, it will get better and better. Take it to the next level and make Butternut Squash Risotto next!
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Is making risotto difficult?
NO! People regularly say to me that risotto is too hard, or too time-consuming and complicated – but see the ingredients below in a picture! It’s just olive oil, butter, onion, garlic, wine, arborio rice, stock, and cheese (and parsley if you want).
BUT – I’m not going to lie to you. This creamy risotto is hands on. You do have to stand there and stir and add liquid, and stir, and monitor.
However, this isn’t a 40 minute kind of deal, it’s 17-25 minutes, I promise. AND you can still multitask and cook your protein or other sides while you do this. Really you can.
It’s totally worth it, because, hi there – yummy carb side that is not pasta (we’re pasta’d out a little bit at our house – kids love it, but we’re over it for right now).
I love to make this during the week, but I REALLY love to make it for a weekend lunch. A little salad, a little chicken – and a pan of risotto, and we’re in business!!
Key Steps for Risotto
Risotto is more of a technique than a dish. Once you get a feel for the basic steps of making the soffrito, toasting the rice, and adding in the broth a scoop at a time, a whole world of dishes opens up.
You can add caramelized onions, ribbons of swiss chard, bits of sausage, wild mushrooms from the farmers market, or any other combination of flavors and textures that suit your fancy.
Use the best rice you can find. Arborio is the most common of risotto rice and readily available at most markets, making for a fine starter risotto. But carnaroli rice is our favorite for texture and reliability-it’s harder to overcook than arborio and can be found in plenty of specialty markets.
Lastly, vialone nano rice is worth mentioning for its pure silkiness in finished risotto, but you may have to special order it.
Have everything ready before you step up to the stove. This one thing is crucial for a good risotto: Measure, chop, and ready the rice, the wine, your add-ins, and the bowls to serve it in. Risotto waits for no one and is perfect the second it’s done.
Warm your broth. This is the secret to faster, creamier risotto at home: Pour your broth into a saucepan and warm it over medium heat. Warming the broth before adding it to the warm rice coaxes more starch out of each grain and prevents overcooking.
The cool broth takes longer to warm up in the risotto pan and may shock the grain into holding onto its starches while the rice itself continues to cook.
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How to Know When Risotto Is Done?
The best way to determine risotto doneness is with both your eyes and your mouth. First take a look at the pan: Is the risotto creamy but not thick, rolling back after the spoon is run through the pan?
You’re probably very close to done. Now take a bite – the rice should be mostly soft with a small bite on the softer side of al dente.
Just before serving, add a few more dabs of butter and the Parmesan and then serve the risotto swiftly in warm bowls.
|YIELDS:||PREP TIME:||TOTAL TIME:|
|4-6 Servings||0 HOURS 15 MIN||0 HOURS 15 MIN|
4 c. low-sodium chicken broth
3 c. water
4 tbsp. butter, divided
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 c. arborio rice
1/4 c. dry white wine
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp. chopped chives
2 tbsp. finely chopped basil
- In a medium pot, combine water and broth and bring to simmer.
- Meanwhile, in a large straight-sided skillet over medium-high heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Stir rice into onion mixture and season with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Cook, stirring constantly, until rice is lightly toasted, about 4 minutes.
- Pour wine into rice mixture and bring to a boil. Cook, until almost evaporated, about 30 seconds.
- Reduce heat to medium and pour a few ladlefuls of warm broth into skillet and cook, stirring gently until broth is absorbed. Continue to cook, repeating adding a few ladlefuls of broth and stirring until broth is absorbed before adding more, until rice is al dente, about 20 minutes.
- Remove skillet from heat and stir in remaining 2 tablespoons butter, lemon juice, and Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper.
- Top with chives and basil and more Parmesan before serving.
What to serve with Risotto?
We totally scarfed the entire pan of this with some Blue Cheese Topped Pork Chops the other night. What you see on the plate is about 1/4 of the recipe.
What you don’t see is my husband grabbing a spoon to get every last grain from the pan before doing the dishes. I’m just keeping it real here.
What goes well in risotto?
Here are seven great additions to try.
- Roasted Shrimp
- Crispy Chicken Thighs
- Cooked Sausage
- Fried or Poached Eggs
- Seared Scallops
How do I cook Arborio risoto?
You can cook Arborio rice as you would regular rice: In a medium, heavy-bottomed pot or saucepan, bring 2 cups of salted water to boil over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil or butter, return to a boil, and then add 1 cup of Arborio rice. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low.
How do I add flavor to risotto?
Add aromatics: onion, garlic, and/or shallots. These ingredients will add flavor to the oil, which will transfer the flavor to the other ingredients. Cook and stir until tender; do not let these ingredients brown. Add the rice to the pan.
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Can you make risoto beforehand?
If you are going to use the risotto within the hour, just slide it to the back of the stove, with no heat, and let it sit.
If you are making your risotto well in advance, place it in a shallow baking pan and cover it. Refrigerate until ready to serve. The rice can be prepared to this point up to 3 days in advance.
How do chefs make risotto so fast?
The key, instead, is to undercook the risotto and cool it rapidly to prevent that rice from overcooking, so you can easily finish cooking it later.
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