Basic recipe for making risotto

Making risotto is actually the easiest thing in terms of cooking. Anyone can do it if you follow a few simple instructions. And the result is that you imagine yourself in Italy when you enjoy the creamy risotto that you can make with this basic recipe.
To make it, you do not necessarily have to go shopping unless you do not have rice, onion and parmesan cheese in your house, because you can basically make risotto from all types of rice. Whole grain rice, risotto rice and plain white rice. It is all possible, but of course one type of rice is more suitable and therefore tastier and with a better texture than the other. That should speak for itself! Here I give you a basic recipe for making risotto. Once you understand the principle, you can experiment with it as much as you want.

Carnaroli, Vialone nano or Arborio?

Risotto is not a dish that occurs in the Umbrian kitchen. After all, no rice is grown in Umbria. But that should not be a reason not to share this basic recipe with you. The best rice to use is the Carnaroli, the Vialone Nano or the Arborio rice, all types of rice from the North of Italy: the Veneto, Piemonte and Lombardia.
Last summer we had guests who made a stopover in Northern Italy and visited rice farmers there. They bought different risotto rice types there and went to cook on Polmone! I actually forgot to ask what they thought was the best rice to make risotto!
The main difference between the Carnaroli or the Vialone Nano rice and the Arborio is that the first two varieties are shorter and narrower than the Arborio rice and absorb more starch than the Arborio rice. These two types are ultimately the most suitable for making risotto.

Basic recipe for making risotto

Risotto alla Parmigiana

Equipment for 4 persons

  • 75 g of butter
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • possibly a piece of marrow (approx. 30 g)
  • 1 l meat or chicken stock
  • 275 gr arborio rice
  • 1 glass of dry white wine
  • salt to taste
  • grated parmesan cheese

Melt 50 g butter in a pan with a thick bottom and braise the onion until translucent. If necessary, add the piece of marrow to give the risotto a fuller taste. Let it smother.
Meanwhile, bring the stock to a boil in a separate pan. 
Add the rice to the onion mixture and keep stirring until the rice shines. Add the wine and increase the heat a little. 
Add the stock soup ladle by tablespoon and keep stirring until the stock has been absorbed by the rice.
At the end of the cooking time, it is best to stir the rice with a coarse wooden fork to keep the rice grains whole.
Your mixture should now be creamy, not sticky, and the rice is al dente (has another bite). Turn off the heat!
Add the rest of the butter and parmesan cheese, stir briefly and serve immediately.

Risotto with whole grain rice

If you want to use whole grain rice like I always do and don't have any stock, use a cup of whole grain rice for 2 people and water and coarse sea salt or a stock cube.
Start in the same way as above and, instead of the stock, bring water to the boil in your kettle. 
If your onion is translucent, add the rice and let it shine just like with arborio rice. Then add the wine and increase the heat.
Then all the water is added at once with a large scoop of coarse sea salt. Put the lid on the pan and let it cook. I let it boil for 45 minutes, but the cooking time depends on the type of whole grain rice you use.
You finish the risotto just like above, so add the butter and parmesan and serve.


Now I have learned from Italian friends here that they always let the risotto 'mantecare' for at least fifteen minutes. That is different from the original Italian recipe I used to learn how to cook risotto and it means the following. If you add the butter and parmesan cheese after you turn off the heat, the risotto will take time to absorb the full flavor and form a nice creamy texture. Incidentally, I almost always add very finely chopped parsley to this last step in the preparation of a tasty risotto. And I, too, always leave it 'mantecare' for at least fifteen minutes.

Variations on the basic recipe

Now there are countless delicious risotto recipes.
You can make as many variations of the basic recipe as you want with all kinds of vegetables such as broccoli, mushrooms, bitter lettuce, peas, young double-shelled broad beans, etc, etc. I am already looking forward to the fresh peas that I think will be available in a month. to be. There I always make a special kind of risotto called Risi e Bisi. Much more stock is used to make the risotto look more like soup.

Rule of thumb

As a rule of thumb for adding vegetables, you can keep cutting the vegetables very finely and adding them when the onion is translucent. Continue to make the risotto as described above. However, if you want to use whole grain rice, it is better to add the vegetable only at half the cooking time. Otherwise, your vegetables will be overcooked.

More Italian recipes

In the Gazzetta from Polmone you will find more easy to make Italian recipes. If you click on the category 'Recipes' you will get a page with all the recipes that I would like to share with you.

Italian atmosphere while making your risotto

And to get completely into the Italian atmosphere while making your risotto, I share my favorite playlist on Spotify here. It takes you on a musical journey through Italy. Have fun listening and eating!

Your favorite Italian recipe or playlist

I would like you to share your favorite Italian recipe or playlist with us and all readers of the Polmone Gazzetta.
Then we can share the beautiful atmosphere of Italy in this difficult time when no one can go on holiday to Italy!
We hope that everyone stays healthy and will return to Italy when the weather is safe after the crisis. Stay at home as much as possible now! We can only overcome this together!
You can share your recipe or playlist with us below! And if you want to share my basic recipe for making risotto with others, I hereby invite you to do so!

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