If you like unbelievably creamy flavorful risotto that can be used as a side dish or as part of the main dish — than this is the recipe for you.
Tips: Have everything ready to go before hand. The prep time is very short; maybe 5 minutes. Cooking time is about 35 minutes. Warning number 1! You can’t walk away from this while it’s on the stove top. Would you give a toddler a piece of chocolate cake and the freedom to eat it while they wander through your living room? I think not. This is like that except that the toddler and your living room can likely be salvaged. A risotto left unattended cannot be. Warning number 2! This makes a lot so don’t make it for two people. Have guests over. They will love you. They will also be smitten by you and your incredible risotto. (It’s true. I can provide proof.) I have an absolutely lovely 12″ steel non-stick skillet with 3″ high walls. This recipe almost fills it so don’t start with a 10″ frying pan. A nice enameled dutch oven would work well. Here goes. My running commentary is scattered throughout.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup minced or finely chopped onion
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
- 2 cups Arborio rice (Don’t even try to use any other rice. If you only have long grain rice you might as well not even get the onion out. Our local grocery store sell a brand called, Village Harvest. It’s just under $4 for 30 oz, which is by far the cheapest I’ve found, but it is excellent.)
- 1/2 cup white wine (Whatever you have on hand. Don’t use cooking wine. Ever. Only cook with wines that people drink. I buy an inexpensive white wine like a Pinot Grigio and it works great.)
- Approximately 6 cups Chicken Stock or 3 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth mixed with 3 cups water, simmering (I use 6 cups of hot water with 1 tablespoon of chicken base added in. Make sure you have this ready to go! You do not want to be whisking your chicken stock together while your rice is cooking. Warning! Do not substitute beef stock. That was an utter failure in taste and execution.)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over moderate heat.
Add the onion, garlic and salt and sauté until the onions are soft, about 8 minutes; do not let them color. Stir in the rice and cook, stirring, until the rice is hot, about 2 minutes. Add the wine and simmer, stirring, until it’s absorbed. Begin adding hot broth 1 cup at a time, stirring often and adding more broth only when the previous addition has been absorbed. Adjust the heat to maintain a simmer. It should take about 20 minutes for the rice to become creamy and al dente. You may not need all the broth; if you need a little more, use boiling water. (I have always used exactly 6 cups with no issues.) Remove the risotto from the heat and stir in the butter and cheese. Season with pepper and serve immediately.
Serve it just as it is as a side with beef or chicken. Otherwise substitute it for your pasta and cover it with your favorite pasta sauce. Even sauted mushrooms and garlic are a huge hit over the top. It’s very versatile. Bon appetit’!