I love Risotto.

by Michael on February 12, 2014

It would probably be included in my last meal. And us chefs like people to believe it is very difficult to make but it is not. It only takes about 20 minutes but it does require constant attention. Risotto is an Italian rice dish cooked in broth to a creamy consistency. The broth may be meat, fish, or vegetable based. It is one of the most common ways of cooking rice in Italy. The technique of making risotto, the constant stirring, is what gives the risotto its delicious texture. There are a few tricks to cooking risotto.  Sauté the rice in olive oil to open the kernels of rice and allow the risotto to absorb more flavors. An Old Italian chef once told me to always use a wooden spoon.  Using metal can break the rice grains and turn your final product mushy. Use good quality rice.  I always go for Carnaroli or Arborio.  There are a few more varietals out there but are very hard to find.  And most importantly, do not overcook your rice. The rice should come out with a good bite or al dente.  The total cook time of the risotto should be about 18 to 20 minutes. And finally, Risotto should not be thick and clumpy.  There should be a “wave” to it in the pan. Nice and loose. It will tighten up more while on the plate.

1/4 cup Olive OilLobster Risotto
1 1/2 cups Arborio Rice
1 Yellow Onion, minced
1 Garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup White Wine
2 quarts Good Quality Stock (heated until hot)
Salt and freshly ground Pepper
2/3 cup Parmigiano Regiano 


  • Heat olive oil in a saucepot over medium-high heat. Add the rice and stir until thoroughly coated and opaque, about 3 minutes. Add the onion and garlic, and cook until softened, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the white wine and cook until reduced out to dry and the alcohol smell is completely gone, about 2 minutes.
  • Add 8 ounces of the stock and cook, stirring, until the liquid is absorbed. Continue stirring and adding the hot stock 8 ounces at a time, waiting until the liquid is absorbed each time before adding more. Add your last third of the stock and continue to cook until the rice is tender and creamy but still al dente, about 18 minutes in total. Season the risotto with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
  • Remove from heat and immediately fold in the parmigiano, and finish with extra virgin olive oil. Serve, garnished with additional parmigiano. 

Risotto Variations:

  1. To make lobster risotto use lobster stock and fold in cooked lobster in your last addition of liquid.
  2. When making Vegetable risotto,  cook your vegetables separately and fold the in at the end and I always like finishing the rice with a fresh basil pesto.
  3. Risotto alla Milanese is Saffron risotto.  Add a pinch of saffron threads with your first addition of stock.
  4. Use red wine in the second step and the last addition of liquid use red wine. For this risotto add 2 tablespoons of butter with the Parm to take away some of the tannin bite.

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