You are only 5 steps away from the ultimate bowl of creamy, velvety risotto. Once you master the technique, this recipe is a great jumping off point. The possibilities are endless—add lemon zest for vibrant Risotto al Limone, chopped black summer truffles and grated Pecorino Staginato al Tarufo for Risotto con Tartufo or saffron for fragrant Risotto alla Milanese (see more of our easy variations below).
Recipe by Asha Loupy
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Total Time: 45 minutes
Serves 4 – 6
Step 1: In a medium saucepan, heat the chicken stock to a simmer and keep warm over low heat.
Step 2: In a large heavy-bottomed skillet or pot, melt 4 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until the onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, if you are using it, and continue to cook for another 30 seconds.
Step 3: Turn the heat up to medium high and add the rice into the onion mixture, stirring to coat the rice in butter. Toast the rice until the edges of the rice start to turn translucent but the center is still opaque, about 1 – 2 minutes. Add the wine, stirring occasionally, and cook until almost all the wine has been absorbed into the rice.
Step 4: Add 2 ladles of the reserved hot stock to the rice, stirring often, until the stock has almost been fully absorbed. Add another ladleful of stock and repeat the process. Continue adding stock and stirring until the rice is al dente, about 20 – 25 minutes (you may not use all of the stock).
Step 5: Remove the cooked risotto from the heat and add one last ladleful of stock, the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and stir vigorously. Serve immediately in warmed bowls and garnish with more grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, if desired.
- For Risotto con Porcini, add chopped rehydrated Dried Porcini Mushrooms from Wine Forest with the garlic in Step 2 (and, don't forget to add the mushroom soaking liquid to your chicken stock for more concentrated mushroom flavor). For an extra indulgent bowlful, fold in sliced black truffles before serving.
- For Risi e Bisi, add some fresh or frozen peas during the last couple minutes of cooking and serve it on the wet side (that's how it's done in Venice).
- For a quick Risotto con il Pollo, fold in some shredded rotisserie chicken to your almost-finished risotto. Drizzle with a touch of aged balsamico, as they do in Emilia Romagna.
- For Risotto con Gamberetti, toss uncooked shrimp into your risotto during that last 5 minutes of cooking and use fish stock instead of chicken stock.
- For Risotto al Barolo, substitute Italian Barolo red wine for the white wine in Step 3.