Master the techniques in this basic risotto recipe, and you’ll always be ready to serve a tasty 30-minute entrée or side dish. The first step to perfect risotto is using arborio [ar-BOH-ree-oh] rice. This starchy grain creates its own creamy sauce as it’s stirred and simmered in broth. The second step is to stir frequently. It’s tedious, but that’s what breaks down the starches and forms the sauce. Finally, test often for doneness toward the end of the cooking time. The rice grains should be firm—not chalky, yet not mushy, either.
All About Arborio
Risotto’s characteristic creaminess is due in large part to arborio rice, a variety of rice that’s very high in starch. During the long simmering and stirring, the starch in the rice dissolves, thickening the broth. Don’t use a different variety of rice for risotto — you won’t get the same results. Find arborio rice at many grocery or specialty food stores.
Simmer broth in a saucepan; keep it warm over low heat.
Add wine; simmer, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until the liquid evaporates, about 2 minutes. Stir in ½ cup broth; simmer until it’s completely absorbed. Continue adding broth in ½-cup increments, stirring frequently and adding more broth only after the previous broth has been absorbed.
Taste rice after cooking it for 15 minutes. Continue cooking until rice is firm but not chalky in the center. Remove risotto from heat.
Stir in Parmesan, parsley, and butter; season with salt and pepper. For a pretty presentation, spoon risotto into buttered custard cups, unmold onto plates, and drizzle with olive oil.
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 17g 26%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 27mg 9%
Sodium 413mg 17%
Carbs 29g 9%
Fiber 1g 4%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.