How to Make Risotto (and how to embellish it)

Here’s the nuts and bolts of making risotto. This is not a risotto recipe per se, but rather a general tutorial that will allow you to improvise and tailor to your own tastes. Part one below, lays out the five general steps. Then, below is a list of embellishments that you might want to consider.

BASIC STEPS:
1. In a saucepan, add olive oil. Then, over medium heat, add a cup of diced onions and a couple minced cloves of garlic. Sweat the vegetables.

2. Add a cup or two of arborio rice or (even better) carnaroli rice, stirring frequently, until you can smell a nutty aroma and the risotto has been slightly browned.

3. Deglaze with a cup of white wine and stir.

4. Once the wine is absorbed, begin adding chicken stock or vegetable stock in ½ cup increments, stirring frequently, until the risotto is tender.

5. Add cream, cheese and/or fresh herbs of your choice at the very end.

RISOTTO EMBELLISHMENTS:

1. Pancetta, truffle, porcini risotto: Add pancetta before the onions. Brown the pancetta. Add fresh porcini mushrooms or reconstituted dried porcini mushrooms about ¾ way through the stock stage. (How to rehydrate dried mushrooms). Finish with truffle salt or truffle oil.

2. Butternut squash & blue cheese risotto: After you add wine, you can add cubed butternut squash and then add blue cheese (we recommend Point Reyes blue cheese)at the end.

3. Sweet pea risotto: Add fresh peas a couple minutes before the cheese. Use pecorino.

4. Mushroom risotto: Add pretty much any kind of fresh mushrooms toward the end of the stock stage. Finish with a salty cheese, such as grated parmesan or a tangy cheese like Valbreso feta, depending on your tastes.

5. Asparagus & Parmigiano Risotto: At the end, add blanched asparagus and some parmigiano reggiano.

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Risotto Recipes
Cheese Recipes
Mushroom Recipes
Truffle Recipes




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8 Responses to “How to Make Risotto (and how to embellish it)”

  1. 1
    lynn a. says:

    This is very interesting. It’s also new to me. I’m going to try the asparagus and parmesano, hopefully our store has the parmigiano reggiano. Will let you know how this turns out and how it was received. Lynn A.

  2. 2
    Barbara says:

    I only want to make enough for two people. What are the liquid/rice proportions?
    The rice I am using is medium grain white Italian rice.

    Please do not pass along my email address.

  3. 3
    Matthew says:

    Hi Barbara,

    Usually when I’m making risotto for two, I use about a cup of risotto rice (vialone nano is my personal favorite).

    For a cup of rice I like to have over a quart of stock on hand. You probably won’t need anywhere near that much (I’d estimate you’ll need somewhere around 3/4 quart), but it’s good to have insurance. The quantity of stock needed will vary from batch to batch. Not only do different risotto rice varieties absorb different amounts of liquid, but even the same rice will need different amounts from package to package, day to day.

    When using store-bought stock, I open one quart, but leave the other package sealed until I think I’m going to need it.

    Matthew
    MarxFoods