About this recipe
Risotto is Italian-style rice. Instead of steaming and adding sauce or frying in oil like the Chinese do, we slow-cook our rice in flavourful liquids. This way, each grain is power-packed with taste (which puts us one up on the Chinese).
Heat a pot of real chicken broth or use bouillon cubes (6 cups worth).
In a Dutch oven, fry:
- 4-6 tbsp. butter,
- ½ cooking onion (finely diced).
After a minute or two, add:
- 2 cups fresh mushrooms (washed and sliced),
- 1 package rehydrated porcini mushrooms (diced, water reserved).
Wait one more minute, and then add:
- 2 cups superfino arborio rice (first rinsed in hot water to clean and remove excess starch).
As the rice absorbs the butter, add:
- 1 cup white wine and the water from the porcinis (strained through a paper towel),
- ½ tsp. salt and ½ tsp. black pepper.
Stir while the rice absorbs the wine, and then add:
Continue to stir while broth is being absorbed. Then add another 1-2 ladles and keep stirring. Continue adding broth and stirring until the rice is cooked (or your arm falls off). It takes about 20 minutes. Then remove from heat and stir in ¼ cup to ½ cup Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle a little Parmesan over top before serving.
- Rice triples in size when cooked, so 1 cup dry feeds 2 people.
- You can use vegetable broth if there aren’t any chickens around.
- To rehydrate porcinis, look on the package (it will tell you how; this is low-stress).
- Instead of mushrooms, use peas or diced asparagus. Or add cleaned and chopped spinach near the end.
For poor man’s risotto, boil any old rice and put spaghetti sauce over top. This is the kind of risotto we grew up with. My parents didn’t love us enough to stand over a stove stirring for 20 minutes.