Basic risotto method

Risotto is an Italian dish that was originally eaten by peasants for breakfast, but which has risen in stature to become a highly regarded restaurant dish. It’s simple to make at home, but requires a bit of attention.Risotto is made from risotto rice cooked with stock. Other ingredients (such as vegetables, shellfish or meat) are then added, and the dish is usually finished off with a knob of butter and some Parmesan cheese, which is stirred through at the end of cooking.

The key to a successful risotto is the rice and the stirring. There are three main types of Italian risotto rice – arborio, carnaroli and vialone nano. Essentially they’re all starchy short-grain rices. The stock is added bit by bit to the rice and stirred frequently resulting in the classic creamy texture of a risotto. It shouldn’t be overcooked, but should still retain its characteristic al dente bite. All risotti are prepared in pretty much the same way. This page explains the standard method. Serves 4

Risotto ingredients

Risotto ingredients

  • 350g risotto rice
  • 40g butter (or olive oil depending on the recipe)
  • 1 small onion,finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic (if the recipe calls for it), finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 litres stock
  • 1 glass dry white wine

Bring the stock to a gentle boil.

risotto 1 (Medium)

Add the rice and stir until all the rice is coated with the butter.
risotto 2 (Medium)Add the wine and cook until it has been completely absorbed, stirring all the time.
risotto 3 (Medium)Add a ladle of the hot stock and stir until it has been absorbed.
risotto 4 (Medium)Keep adding the stock in this way, a ladle at a time, until the rice is cooked. It should take around 20 minutes. Test a grain of rice from time to time to see if it’s done.
risotto 6 (Medium)Remove from the heat and , if the recipe calls for it, stir in some cheese and butter. Leave to rest for a couple of minutes before serving.

Risotto finished dish

Risotto finished dish

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