Risotto is one of my all-time favorite comfort foods. For a long time I was scared to make it homemade because I heard it wasvery labor intensive. But I find if you prepare correctly, it’s really not that bad and very much worth it. The recipe below makes enough for 6 people. I served it with some crusty French bread because we love our carbs and it’s perfect for sopping up extra grains.
You can make this vegetarian or throw in a variety of protein.
You will need:
- Arborio rice – 2 cups
- 1/2 cup minced white onion
- Olive oil, 2-3 tbs
- Unsalted butter , 5-6 tbs
- Garlic – 1-2 cloves, minced
- 1/3 – 1/2 cup Dry white wine or vermouth
- 6 cups Chicken broth
- Sea salt and pepper – to taste
- Chicken breast, cut into small pieces
- One link – Italian chicken sausage (regular Italian sausage or pancetta will do)
- Frozen peas – handful
- Fresh grated Parmesan-about a 1/4 cup
- *fresh herbs, if available
- Large pan (I prefer my cast iron skillet)
- Saucepan for broth
- Pan for cooking the protein
- Important! Heat chicken broth in a saucepan and have a ladle ready. As you cook the risotto, you will need to spoon hot chicken broth into the rice. Keep it on low to maintain the heat
- heat 1-2 tsp of oil in a pan. Add the proteins of your choice and season with garlic, pepper and salt. Add the peas during the last few minutes of cooking. Drain and set aside.
- In a large pan, Melt 2-tbs of butter and 2 tbs of olive oil.
- Add the onions and cook for a few minutes until they are translucent.
- Add the rice and coat the grains with oil for about one minute or so until they are clear.
- Add the wine, stirring the grains around until the liquid disappears.
- For about 15 to 20 minutes, add one ladle full of broth at a time stirring the grains around until the liquid evaporates. The rice will become starchy and creamy. Season with salt and pepper
- Use a taste test to determine the doneness. Most Italians prefer to have a tiny bit of bite.
- In the end, add the Parmesan and several tablespoons of butter to the Risotto without stirring it in. Put a lid on the pan and let it sit for 3 to 4 minutes. Then lift the lid and stir in the melted butter and cheese. Add in the proteins that you want at this time. You can also sprinkle in a little bit of fresh parsley or another herb of your choice for color. Enjoy!