Life in the kitchen

Risotto. The rice that Rules.


Risotto is a northern Italian rice dish that’s usually served as a first course, but here we often have it as a main. (Sorry Rome and Milan, we know you don’t like breaking the food rules, but we do love risotto.)

Made with Arborio rice, risotto is often incorporates onions, butter and wine, and is cooked to a creamy consistency.

Here are a few basic guidelines:

Start by cooking the rice and onion in butter or olive oil to coat it. Don’t rinse the rice first, because you need that starch to get your rice stew to a creamy consistency. You shouldn’t need to add cream to make it creamy.

Next, you add wine, and then let it absorb, and then slowly add boiling hot stock. We said slowly. This slowness is important, because it results in a creamier texture and taste, say the risotto purists. Others have no problem dumping all the stock in at once.

But we’re told that adding the stock too fast could result in a puddle of unabsorbed watery liquid around the edge of your rice when it’s on the plate, which could result in your arrest by the Italian food police.

However you do it, what we DO know is that peas and risotto go together like cats
and sunny sofas.

Some recipes let you mix the wine and stock together before adding. We’re not sure how Italy feels about this.

If you’re looking for the ONE risotto recipe, the short answer is, there isn’t one. There are hundreds. Thousands, even. But a few typical risotto recipes are Risotto Al Funghi, with mushrooms, Risotto Alla Pilota, with sausage, pork and parmesan cheese, and Risotto Alla Zucca, made with pumpkin, nutmeg and grated cheese.

Cook this wonderful dish according to the recipe, then try it your way, and see what works for you. However you do it, what we DO know is that peas and risotto go together like cats and sunny sofas.

Here’s a recipe from Taste, an Australian website (sorry Italy, we know it’s your dish) that we’ve tested, and love.

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