That was my attempt at an Italian accent. Sorry.
At our house, risotto is our rice of choice. We have risotto almost every week. It’s one of those foods that I can count on the kids eating if they’ve been picky. Warm, creamy, comforting and would you look at that! Gluten-free! One of the very few things I make around here that is gluten-free. *I had to edit that, I totally put ‘carb-free’ in a non-thinking moment. Woops. But you knew what I meant, right?* There are about a billion recipes out there for risotto, but this one is my favorite, go-to, basic recipe. My favorite way of getting the veggies into it is to roast them separately and toss them in at the last minute. There’s lots of ways of doing it, but I think it’s the easiest and I like that the veggies keep their shape and don’t become mush.
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 large onions, finely diced
a head of garlic, finely diced
3 cups of arborio rice
large pinch of saffron, optional
3 quarts cooking liquid (I usually use chicken broth)
1 cup cream/half and half
1/2 cup grated parmesan, optional
salt and LOTS of pepper
roasted veggies of your choice
In a medium pot, bring your cooking liquid to a boil. When it boils, turn the heat down to keep a constant simmer.
In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat.
Add the onions and garlic and saute until tender 5-7 minutes.
Add the saffron and saute a minute longer.
Add the rice and saute for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly so the rice doesn’t burn.
Add about a cup of liquid and stir.
Note: Here’s were a lot of people get picky, in my opinion. I don’t hover over my risotto. Some people stir continuously the whole time. I don’t have that kind of patience. Plus I have stuff to do. So I’ll stir and then empty my dishwasher. Stir and add some more liquid and then set the table. Stir and get out a coloring book for my little girl. Stir and add some liquid. See where I’m going with this? Don’t forget about your risotto, but I don’t think you have to hover either. I stir it every few minutes and keep an eye on it to make sure it’s not getting dry.
When the liquid has mostly evaporated add another cup and stir. Repeat this process until you’ve used MOST of the cooking liquid. Then start tasting the risotto every so often checking to see when the rice is al dente.
When the rice is al dente, add the cream and parmesan. Stir to incorporate. Then turn the heat off. Give it about 10 minutes to cool (or you’ll scorch the skin off the roof of your mouth. Trust me on this.)
Add whatever veggies you’ve roasted, salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!
P.S. I cut my veggies into bite sized pieces, toss with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and then lay them out on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake at 400 until golden brown (and maybe just the slightest bit black, yum) and delicious. Last night we had asparagus in it, but this is also dreamy with cauliflower or broccoli or zucchini or mushrooms or grape tomatoes or . . . you get the idea!
P.P.S. This does make a nice, big, lovely batch of risottto. Which is good. Because it’s almost better the second day! Just be sure to hide a separate container for yourself in your fridge. Because your hubby WILL steal all the leftovers if you don’t. Consider yourself warned.
P.P.P.S. Just in case you’re wondering, the risotto pictured does not contain saffron. Which is a shame. I ran out. Will be ordering more T.O.D.A.Y. It gives it such a nice flavor *sigh*
P.P.P.P.S. The risotto pictured was my leftovers. It is a little creamier the day you make it.
P.P.P.P.P.S. Okay. I’m done with the post-scripts.
P.P.P.P.P.P.P.S. Okay, no, really. All done counting ‘P’s. Ciao!