Risotto 101

I’ve always wanted to cook risotto but it was always so daunting. It seemed so complicated and challenging and I was worried it wouldn’t turn out well. So, one day my friend Vic walked me through how to make simple risotto using this recipe by Giada deLaurentis. I won’t brag but every single time I make this, I get raving compliments about how good it is (plus, bonus – it’s so easy to do). Also ladies, if you make this for your significant other it’s a guaranteed hit. They do say the way to a mans heart is his stomach, yes?

(Update: I cook this about once a week for J because he’s always asking for it – his absolute favourite dish! So trust, it’s a winner)

Anyways, here we go! Simple risotto that always turns out delicious.

What you need:

4-6 cups of chicken broth
2 tablespoons of butter
¾ cups of finely chopped onion
1 ½ cups of Arborio rice
½ cup of dry white wine
½ cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
½ teaspoon of salt
¼ cup of freshly ground black pepper

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken broth to a simmer. Cover it and keep it hot over low heat. It’s important that the broth is hot or it’ll make it almost impossible to get soft risotto (adding cold broth every time will bring down the temperature of the risotto)
  2. In a large heavy saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon of butter and sauté with the onions until the onions are soft but not brown.
  3. Add the rice to the butter and onion and coat completely with butter.
  4. On medium heat, add the wine and simmer until the wine is almost completely evaporated.
  5. Add ½ cup of simmering broth to the rice and stir until it’s almost all absorbed (usually about 2-3 minutes).
  6. Continue cooking the rice, adding ½ cup of broth at a time, stirring constantly, and allowing the broth to absorb into the rice each time.
  7. Depending on the size of your pan and heat, you may need more than 4 cups of broth to make sure the risotto is cooked all the way through. The original recipe calls for only 4 cups but I find I need to use almost 6 to get the rice soft enough. This whole process will take about 20-25 minutes.
  8. Once it’s cooked, remove the pan from the heat and mix in the Parmesan cheese, remaining butter, salt and pepper.

There are a lot of different variations of risotto in terms of what you can add into it. I like to add asparagus to mine. To do this, I just cut asparagus into bite size pieces, boil, and toss in at the end.

I’ve learned that risotto takes time and patience but is well worth the wait and work. Enjoy!

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