A Quick Risotto Lesson

It seems that many home cooks often steer away from preparing risotto because either they associate risotto as being a fattening and unhealthy dish or they are deterred by the notion that it is difficult to prepare. I think people often confuse the creamy starchy component that is naturally released by the rice with butter or cheese or tons of cream.

Yes, some of those things are often added but not to the degree that you would find in a classic Alfredo or Carbonara Sauce.

I have always associated making risotto with love and seduction. It’s very exciting; your heart is bursting but yet you must remain calm and unrushed… and one should never rush romance. Give it lots of attention and invest your heart and soul and everything will work out just right.

The following outline will help to alleviate any fears of preparing risotto:

  • Use only Arborio or Carnaroli Rice.
  • Heat butter or oil in a pan and sauté whatever vegetables, if any, the recipe calls for.
  • Add the rice, about a handful per person and stir continually to coat the rice with the oil.
  • Add broth a cup at a time, stirring constantly. When all the liquid has been absorbed add more broth. Never add too much broth at one time. Use homemade broth whenever possible and keep it hot on the stove. A hot broth will keep the risotto cooking at a nice lightly bubbling simmer.
  • Add any other ingredients the recipe calls for.
  • Stir risotto constantly using a wooden spoon.
  • Do not overcook risotto. It should be served “al dente” and you must taste it often throughout the cooking process, just like pasta.
  • Serve immediately.

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