Risotto is one Italy’s best-known specialties, consisting of rice, chicken stock, onion, garlic, butter, salt and pepper, and Parmigiano Reggiano.
Although only few ingredients are required, all must be of premium quality and handled expertly and with patience.
The dish is versatile can be modified with vegetables, seafood and other types of protein. You can also substitute Amarone, one of Veneto’s specialty wines, for chicken stock, and make it as a dessert with dried fruits, milk and sugar.
There are three types of short grain, highly absorbent, and starchy rice varieties, and all of which were developed in Italy – arborio, vialone nano, and carnaroli.
Of the three varieties vialone nano yields the creamiest risottos.
You have to be patent to cook risotto. It takes at least 20 minutes of stirring, adding stock, close attention, and expertise to produce a tasty risotto of which you can be proud.
Start with finely chopped onions and unsalted butter.
Butter can be substituted with olive oil. Heat the heavy-bottomed pot, add butter or oil, heat through, and add onion and garlic. Sauté until onion is translucent, ass rice and stir. Add hot stock a little at a time, and stir until the rice absorbs the liquid. Continue until all the stock is used. Taste. Kernels should be al dente and creamy. Add grated Parmigiano Reggiano and a little butter to finish. Salt and pepper to taste.
You can add chopped sautéed carrots, diced zucchini, broccoli florets, shrimps, cooked lobster, an flavour with white vermouth or aromatic dry white wine.
For sweet risotto, substitute oil with unsalted butter. Use dried apricots, peaches, apples, raspberries, and milk and sugar, and serve hot with a pinch of ground cinnamon.
The best wines to complement risotto pending on flavouring protein are Valpolicella Classico ripasso, cru Chianti, pinot gris made in Alsatian style, or pinot gris from Alto Adige, or California.
Risotto is a monument to the gastronomic genius of imaginative cooks.
The Internet is full of risotto recipes. The secret of tasty risotto is ingredients, equipment, and patience.