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How to Make Risotto

Classic risotto in bowl with parsley on top.

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Risotto is a classic Italian dish that consists of the rich creamy rice that is slowly cooked with shallots, wine and broth and peppered with parmesan cheese. While this dish isn’t hard to make, there is a technique to it.

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Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Place chicken stock in a medium saucepan and heat to boiling, then lower the heat to simmer to keep hot.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoons butter in a large dutch oven. Add shallot and cook for 2 minutes. Add a big pinch of salt, arborio rice and cook until the rice smells toasted, about 2-4 minutes. Do not let the rice get brown.
  3. Add white wine to deglaze the pan and cook, stirring frequently, until all of the wine has been absorbed.
  4. Add in ½ cup of chicken stock to the pot, and stir. Continue to cook over medium, stirring frequently, until the chicken stock has mostly been absorbed. Then add in another ½ cup of chicken stock, and repeat the process of incrementally adding in the chicken stock and stirring, until the rice is al dente (nearly cooked through, with just a chewy bite in the grain of rice remaining), about 15 to 20 minutes. You don’t need to be standing over the pot the whole time, but you shouldn’t stray too far for too long from the pot. You want to add just enough broth to the rice so it’s perfectly cooked, and the risotto flows slowly when a spoon is dragged through it.
  5. Once the risotto is al dente, shut off the heat. Stir in the parsley, remaining 2 tablespoons butter and parmesan cheese. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding in more salt and cheese, as needed.
  6. Serve risotto immediately, in warm bowls. Sprinkle with additional parsley and parmesan cheese.

Notes

Risotto is one of those dishes that really must be served warm. The longer it sits, the more liquid the rice absorbs, and it can go from creamy to too thick quickly. Warming the bowls helps slows down this process. If your oven has a “keep warm” cycle, that is a great place to stash the bowls to keep warm until ready to serve.

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