Do you like Italian food? Who doesn’t? With their intense flavors and colors, Italian dishes offer the best gastronomy around the globe.
One of the well-known options is the risotto, and the main ingredient is the key: rice.
Risotto, as an Italian dish, is a creamy rice which is cooked with broth –it can be any type: vegetables, fish, meat– which provides that soft texture.
Other classic ingredients that add some little magic to it are butter, white wine, onion and the mandatory top-notch parmigiano.
It is very common for risotto to be served as the first course, but it can also be eaten as the main one. No matter when you eat it, it’s always exquisite!
That’s the reason why it has lasted for so long. Rice has been grown in Italy since the 14th Century, but it wasn’t until the 20th Century that the rice varieties associated with risotto were developed. Fortunately, the dish has been spread all over the globe during the last decades.
There are various combinations that make you feel you’re in heaven, as well as different types of rice. You can explore the options available on riceselect.com/product/arborio.
The most recommended rice variety is the high-starch, low-amylose round medium grain, since what we’re looking for when cooking risotto is for the rice to absorb the greatest amount of liquid and to release starch. That’s the secret for its creamy consistency!
There are many ways of cooking risotto, and, as it’s shared knowledge, it requires a lot of attention from the cook. But the positive side is that there’s no need to boil it, rinse it or even drain it before cooking it, because washing the rice will make all the starch disappear. And with the starch goes all the creamy texture!
If you relish eating risotto, this recipe is for you.
- 400 g of risotto rice.
- 1 onion.
- 2 tbsp of olive oil.
- 2 glasses of white wine.
- 1 liter of broth.
- 90 g of Parmesan cheese.
- A pinch of salt.
Firstly, add an onion with some butter and olive oil to a frying pan set over low heat together with the rice. That’s called a soffritto.
After that, pour some white wine so that it can be absorbed by the grains. Raise the heat to medium high and add the broth in small amounts. Stir so that the grains can start releasing all the starch and a smooth textured mass is created.
Once the rice is cooked, take the pan out of the heat and add the Parmesan cheese with the butter. Both should be well refrigerated. This will make the rice even more creamy.
Remove the pan from heat some minutes before it’s ready, so that the rice is cooked with the residual heat.
Serve in a flat dish.
Risotto should be very creamy, even if there’s no cream added. So, if you’re willing to experience that feeling with all your senses, you should eat it at once, since it continues to cook in its own heat. This makes the rice dry and soft, because the grains end up absorbing all the liquid.
There is a wide range of variations when it comes to risotto, since each region may have added its own touch. That’s what makes it even more interesting!
A typical dish from Milan is risotto alla milanese, which consists of the distinct rice, beef broth, beef bone marrow, lard and cheese.
Another very tasty option is risotto al barolo, which is a specialty of Piedmont. It is made with red wine and sausage meat or Borlotti beans.
If you are a vegetarian, you should try risotto alla zucca, made with nutmeg, pumpkin and grated cheese.
And last but not least, there’s always an option that includes seafood. Risotto ai frutti di mare sounds great, too.
If you were looking for a handy and tasty dish, I think you’ve found it! Whether you want a nutritional dish for your lunch or dinner, you’re a vegetarian or a meat lover, you want to pamper someone with your cooking skills, or to enjoy it on your own with a lovely glass of wine, risotto is always a good idea.