The risotto metarecipe
, in some detail:
- Rice, if possible of the Superfino Arborio or Vialone Nano varieties (both are grown in Northern Italy): if you cannot find them, substitute with a medium grained rice, not an oriental rice like Basmati or Jasmine, because you want some starch to release. Consider about 70 grams per person.
- Butter. No substitute. Risotto was invented in Northern Italy, and the traditional cooking fat there are butter and lard. Olive oil arrived much later.
- Onions, about a quart onion per person. Not a lot, really.
- Stock, vegetable or meat, although meat-derived broth is tastier.
- pinch of salt, pepper to taste ...
Stage 1: toasting
Start by putting a pot with the stock on the fire. It has to be boiling or very near boiling for the whole time. When this is somewhat hot, start a second pot with the butter (don't be stingy there) and the very finely chopped onions.
If this is sausage risotto, add the chopped sausages now.
The onions have to become transparent, not brown. When they are at this stage, throw the rice in and toast it well,
If your risotto implies some sturdy veg, like carrots or cabbage or potatoes, now is the moment to add them.
Stir the rice until it becomes clearer, almost transparent in fact (at the beginning it is whitish). This should take about four minutes, don't forget to mix it continuously, otherwise the grain
s on the bottom will burn and you will have to dump the whole mess in the garbage can.
At this point, you can also throw in a quarter glass per person of white wine. Unless you are doing risotto a la embriaga, in which case it would be red wine. Stir until all the wine has been absorbed.
Stage 2: the wave
At this point, add enough boiling broth to cover the rice and no more
. Stir with a wooden spoon, and enter this loop:
- Check whether the risotto is fluid but not watery: there should not be a layer of liquid on the surface, yet the risotto should behave like a very heavy fluid, that's to say "make waves" when stirred.
- If it is too dry, add a ladleful of broth, and mix.
- wait one minute
The one minute
bit is not exaggerated: the bastard will
burn unless watched.
If your risotto implies delicate stuff, like asparagus or leeks or shrimp, you add it somewhere in here, depending on its cooking time.
After about twenty minutes, start tasting the rice. When it is almost done, turn off the gas (you are not doing this on an electric range, are you ?), add extra butter, mix, cover, wait one minute and eat.
Stage 3: the eating
Usually served with grated Parmigiano, unless it is a seafood risotto. Only people from Parma put Parmigiano on seafood risotto, and the people from Genova berate us for that.
Must be eaten hot: when cold it sucks
horribly, and does not take very well to reheating.
Within this meta method, you are free to invent and elaborate, and still call this risotto.
: in Milan
style risotto, (Risotto alla milanese
is mixed with some broth and added during cooking.
Thanks to ninar for pointing out a missing sentence.