The Greatest Risotto Handbook: Become a Resotto Expert with These 100 Delicious Recipes (Paperback)
How to make a risotto
The base of risotto is incredibly simple, just
finely chopped onion which is gently cooked
in butter or oil until softened. The rice is
then tossed and toasted with the onions and
the fat to heat the grains of rice before the
liquid is added.
Wine and stock give the rice most of its
flavour so use a decent white wine (one that
you'd happily drink the rest of the bottle).
If you have homemade stock that is ideal
but don't worry if not. There are loads of
good quality ready-made stock and stock
bases to try. It's best to keep the stock at a
low simmer before adding as this helps keep
the cooking of the rice even as the
temperature isn't constantly dropping.
Finishing the risotto properly is really
important. Once the rice is cooked (it should
still have a little bite but not be chalky)
grated parmesan and butter is beaten in,
then the risotto is left to sit for 2 minutes
to let all of the Ingredients meld together.
How to stir risotto
The constant stirring we associate with
risotto happens for a reason. This stirring
means the rice grains rub against each other
which helps release the starch from the
grains into the stock for that classic oozy
finish. It's best to use a wide, deep frying or
saut pan for this as it means you can keep
the rice moving and the wide surface gives
the liquid a chance to evaporate evenly.
Which risotto rice to use
Risotto uses a short grain rice from Italy.
The three most common varieties are
Arborio, carnaroli and vialone nano which are
used depending on the region. Risotto rice
has a certain character which means when
cooked it keeps its shape but releases a lot
of starch from the surface so once melded
with liquid gives the classic creamy risotto
How much risotto rice to use
You will need between 50-75g of rice per
person depending on whether you are serving
a small bowl as a starter or a larger main
To Ensure Perfect Risotto:
Use Arborio rice and never wash it.
Use a wide, heavy-bottom pot. Never
cover the pot.
Your risotto is only as good as the stock
you use, so make sure it's rich and
flavorful. Non-vegetarians can
experiment with check and beef stocks.
Add the stock one ladle at a time. Don't
let the liquid in the pan totally evaporate
before you add more. Keep the heat
under the rice at medium and the liquid
at a quick simmer.
Keep a pot of stock simmering on a back
burner and add a ladle each time the rice
appears to have absorbed most of the
liquid. You probably won't use all the
stock called for in each recipe, but it's
better to heat extra stock than to run
the risk of not having enough.
Stir frequently, especially when the rice
is nearly done. However, there's no need
to stand in front of the pot and stir
continuously while the risotto is cooking.
The rice should be firm but tender, with
no hard center core.
Remove the risotto from the heat as
soon as it's cooked. Serve immediately.
With a little bit of know-how (and some
soothing, meditative stirring), a creamy,
umami-rich risotto with perfectly cooked
rice is guaranteed. Here's how to master
this classic dish and make our best seafood