Risotto is Bob and Lenore’s go-to meal at home, after pasta, of course. But if there is need for a dinner at home for the two of them, they often make a risotto. The truth is there is always something in the house to make a “new” recipe for risotto. You see, risotto can simply be prepared with onion, water “stock” and rice, Arborio or any short grain rice.
Risotto is a “style” rather than a recipe. The technique is what makes the rice turn from good starchy companion to other food to a creamy flavorful hearty stand-alone dish–and it is still only rice! We can usually scare up a few more additions than onion so it becomes a comfort food in a bowl. Enjoying the process of making risotto is recommended–watch one cup of simple rice turn into five cups of nourishing food.
- 2-3 tablespoons EVOO, butter or combination
- ½ cup onion or shallots, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Salt, pepper, coriander (as desired)
- Other soffritto ingredients you may add here:
- ½ cup fennel, minced
- ½ cup carrots, minced
- ¼ cup dried grapes or raisins
- ½ cup Italian sausage
- 1 cup Arborio rice or other kind of short grain rice
- 1 cup wine, white
- Stock & Stir
- 5 cups (approximately) hot liquid stock, chicken, flavored water or vegetable stock, alone or combination
- Finish (optional)
- 2 ounce piquant creamy cheese
- more EVOO
- 3 tablespoons parsley
- ½ cup chives
- 1/3 cup chopped nuts
- fresh black seedless grapes, if available for plate garnish
Steps for making of any risotto dish are:
- The soffritto (the Italian word for aromatics, like the French word, mirepoix.) Keep it simple or elaborate, we have seen it all and loved it all. This gives the general flavor background for risotto.
- The rice – Buy the best Italian short grain you can find. Arborio is what is found easily in the USA.
- The stock & stir – Doesn’t matter if it is water or rich chicken stock, it does the job. Stirring constantly, not required but don’t leave the kitchen while making risotto.
- The finish – optional step, because a good risotto will already be creamy and have mouth-feel. So the finish is
personal and not at all required.