How to make a risotto
The base of risotto is incredibly simple, just finely chopped onion which is gently cooked in butter or oil until softened. The rice is then tossed and toasted with the onions and the fat to heat the grains of rice before the liquid is added.
Wine and stock give the rice most of its flavour so use a decent white wine (one that you’d happily drink the rest of the bottle). If you have homemade stock that is ideal but don’t worry if not. There are loads of good quality ready-made stock and stock bases to try. It’s best to keep the stock at a low simmer before adding as this helps keep the cooking of the rice even as the temperature isn’t constantly dropping.
Finishing the risotto properly is really important. Once the rice is cooked (it should still have a little bite but not be chalky) grated parmesan and butter is beaten in, then the risotto is left to sit for 2 minutes to let all of the ingredients meld together.
How to stir risotto
The constant stirring we associate with risotto happens for a reason. This stirring means the rice grains rub against each other which helps release the starch from the grains into the stock for that classic oozy finish. It’s best to use a wide, deep frying or sauté pan for this as it means you can keep the rice moving and the wide surface gives the liquid a chance to evaporate evenly.
Which risotto rice to use
Risotto uses a short grain rice from Italy. The three most common varieties are Arborio, carnaroli and vialone nano which are used depending on the region. Risotto rice has a certain character which means when cooked it keeps its shape but releases a lot of starch from the surface so once melded with liquid gives the classic creamy risotto result.
How much risotto rice to use per person
You will need between 50-75g of rice per person depending on whether you are serving a small bowl as a starter or a larger main portion.
- butter 100g, chilled and diced
- onion 1 small, finely chopped
- chicken stock 1.25 litres
- arborio rice 200g
- dry white wine 75ml
- saffron ½ tsp (look for good-quality long threads)
- parmesan 75g, finely grated
- ground white pepper
- chives a handful of snipped
Check out our other risotto recipes...
- Kcals 506
- Fat 27.3g
- Saturates 17.1g
- Carbs 43g
- Sugars 1.9g
- Fibre 2.1g
- Protein 17.7g
- Salt 2.5g