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Risotto

  • Always use high quality short-grain rice like Riso Principe Carnaroli or Arborio.
  • Choose vegetables with mild flavours such as artichokes, zucchini and peas. Strong tasting vegetables such as broccoli and red peppers can overwhelm the taste of the risotto.
  • The risotto's aromatic flavour base is called the 'soffritto'. To make it, sweat onions or shallots in good quality olive oil like Colavita, over a low to medium heat, until they become translucent, but not brown.
  • Toast your rice quickly on the saucepan (for approximately 4 minutes) without adding any liquid. This will heat up the grain's exterior, prevent it from breaking and seal in the starch.
  • Match your stock to your ingredients. Use vegetable stock for vegetable-based risottos and meat-based stock for risottos with meat and poultry.
  • Add hot stock, not cold, to the rice during the cooking process. Add
  • ½ cup to ¾ cup at the beginning, decreasing to ½ to ¼ cup towards the end of the cooking process.
  • Try not to stir the risotto, rather agitate or swirl it around gently to prevent the starch from releasing and turning the risotto gluggy.
  • Cook the rice al dente – 'to the bite' – by tasting at about the 15 minute mark.
  • Before serving, add some butter, olive oil and Parmesan cheese and stir vigorously off the heat. Aim for a supple, creamy texture – slightly soupy but with body.
  • Serve risotto piping hot, and in a shallow bowl.
  • For something different, make a strawberry risotto with diced strawberries, unsalted butter and Marsala wine.
 
 
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