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All About Risotto

A Guide to Italy's Creamy Rice Dish

POSTED June 29, 2016

Risotto, Italian Rice

For most people, when they think Italian, they think pasta. But what about pasta’s Northern Italian cousin?

Risotto is a creamy, hearty rice dish made with short-grain Italian Arborio rice. The rice itself is starchy enough to thicken and create its own sauce. Versatile and pantry friendly, risotto is the perfect pillow to any number of toppings and add-ins from roasted fall veggies and cheeses to meats and seafood.

As much as it is loved, cooking risotto has a reputation for being tedious. Sure, it’s a delicate process that requires some attention to detail, but it’s worth mastering. We promise!

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5 Tips for a Great Risotto

1. Always use warm stock. Keep stock simmering before you add it to your risotto. Using cold stock will interfere with the cooking process. Stock to rice ratio: 4 cups stock to 1 cup rice.

2. Stir, stir, stir. A risotto that sticks and burns has to be one of the saddest kitchen mishaps. Stir often, but not constantly, to release the grains’ natural starches.

3. Believe in the process. Add stock slowly, one ladle at a time. Once liquid has been absorbed, add another.

4. Don’t overcook. As with pasta, the aim is for an al dente bite—tender but firm. The texture of the overall dish should be creamy, not mushy or gluey. And once cooked, serve it up immediately!

5. The right tools for the job. A wide saucepan with a heavy bottom ensures even cooking and ideal space for evaporating liquids. We also recommend a wooden spoon for stirring, so as to not harm the grains like you might with a metal utensil.

6. Save add-ins for the end. Cook add-in ingredients separately from your risotto and stir in after rice is cooked.

 

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