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.

Basic risotto method

Serves 4

basic risotto ingredients

350 grams risotto rice
40   grams butter (or olive oil depending on the recipe)
1      small onion — finely chopped
1      clove garlic (if the recipe calls for it) — finely chopped
1.5   litres stock
1      glass dry white wine

Bring the stock to the boil and keep warm.

Melt the butter in a wide pan, add the onion (and garlic if needed), and cook over a low heat, stirring from time to time, until the onion has turned translucent – about 5 minutes.

risotto 1

Add the rice and stir until all the rice is coated with the butter.

risotto 2

Add the wine and cook until it has been completely absorbed, stirring all the time.

risotto 3

Add a ladle of the hot stock and stir until it has been absorbed.

risotto 4

Keep adding the stock in this way, a ladleful 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

Remove from the heat and leave to rest for a couple of minutes before serving.

risotto finished dish


This page prepared with the help of BBC Food

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