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April 13, 2010

Risotto: A labor of love...those darn Italians

Risotto is a creamy, rich, delicious, laborious, Italian rice dish.

This was my first time making it by myself. I didn’t follow any specific recipe – I mostly just referred back to what I’ve seen Alen and the Great Giada de Laurentis do. Most recipes call for white wine but already had a bottle of Merlot open so I used that instead. Also I wasn’t sure how much stock to use so I brought a whole carton (4 cups) to a boil and it turned out to be almost the perfect amount (plus about ½ c extra of water.)

I was very happy with the end result. The dish turned out creamy and very flavorful. Except it took a while – about 25 minutes of constant stirring – so note: when making risotto, stay energetic, make sure to have good background noise (I highly recommend the Nine soundtrack,) and a glass of Merlot in the hand that’s not doing the stirring ; )


1 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp butter, divided

1 medium onion, diced

1 c Arborio rice

1/3 c Merlot (or any dry red wine)

1 tsp dry thyme

4 ½ c beef stock

½ c grated parmesan cheese


In a medium pot, the bring stock to a boil and leave it to simmer, covered.

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil and half the butter on medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 7 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the rice, stir to coat with the fat, and toast for 1 minute.

Add the wine, cook for about 5 minutes, stirring, to evaporate the alcohol and concentrate the flavor. Add the thyme. Then start adding the boiling stock to the rice by ladlefuls and stir until absorbed. Keep adding and stirring.

Do not let the rice dry out! Repeat until the rice is al dente, about 20 minutes. Once all the stock has been absorbed, but before the rice is not dried out, turn the heat off and add the rest of the butter and cheese. Stir to incorporate. Taste for salt, season if necessary. Garnish with some greenery if desired. Serve immediately.


Dajana said...

I've noticed that there's this general idea that risotto is difficult to make and very laborious. I must say I have a contrary opinion. It's one of my favourite dishes in Italian cuisine and I even prefer it to pasta. Some chefs say that rice doesn't need to be stirred at all (or at least just a few times), but simply keep an eye on it and add the stock frequently and shake the pot/casserole or whatever you're cooking it in.
I'm glad you liked it in the end.

Lynda said...

This dish look so simple and delicious! Love the creamy rice and parmesan together!

Heavenly Housewife said...

Your risotto looks great. It looks so moist and delicious.
Hope you have a fabulous weekend.
*kisses* HH

Kitchen Butterfly said...

Oh yes, the bug has bitten you. I love it too....and you know, you can make delicious rice balls with leftovers (Arancini). This looks so creamy.