Your Side Dish Tonight: Delicious Homemade Risotto

· August 5, 2018

How do you make a good homemade risotto? Well, you don’t actually need fancy recipes. You may have everything you need already in your kitchen!

This traditional Italian recipe is one of those that looks harder to make than it really is. A good risotto doesn’t take amazing cooking chops, just patience and dedication. So don’t get frustrated if your risotto doesn’t turn out absolutely perfect the first time…

In order to make a good homemade risotto, you’ll use rice, whatever vegetables you like the most, and some vegetable protein or meat.

Basic technique for homemade risotto

Homemade risotto.

  • First, briefly fry the rice with finely minced shallots and leeks and extra virgin olive oil.
  • Once the rice starts to become transparent, add some white wine and let it evaporate. The amount of white wine should be proportionate to the amount of risotto you’re making: for every 300 grams of rice, use 1/2 cup of white wine.
  • After the wine evaporates, start gradually adding broth. There’s no exact amount of broth you’ll need. It all depends on how much liquid the rice you’re using will need, so give the broth a little extra time until the rice is al dente.
  • Then, once the rice is almost at this point (with literally just seconds until al dente), it’s time to make the risotto. That means adding butter and Parmesan cheese at the end, right before serving it.

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Tips for the perfect risotto

Choose the right rice

White rice.

Although you can use any kind of rice for risotto, Carnaroli rice is ideal. This variety can handle a long cooking process, which is what allows it to absorb so much flavor.

The secret of the broth

You should never add the broth all at once, or else you might overdo it and end up with soup instead of risotto. Also, the broth should be hot when you add it. If you use cold broth, it won’t cook right and you’ll notice it in the consistency of the risotto at the end.

To stir or not to stir: that is the question

A bowl of rice.

If you want nice, dry rice with garlic or onion, you won’t want to stir it. But creamy, smooth homemade risotto does need you to “make it dance.” You’ll need to stir it especially when you add the butter and cheese.

There are two schools of thought when it comes to stirring or not stirring risotto. Some would rather add the broth a bit at a time and stir constantly. Others prefer adding the broth more intermittently and also stirring more intermittently.

We recommend reading:

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Homemade risotto with shrimp and asparagus

Ingredients (for two servings)

  • 1 cup of asparagus (200 g)
  • Broth (as needed)
  • 150 grams of butter
  • 2 cups of Carnaroli rice (300 g)
  • 1/2 cup of white wine (100 ml)
  • 1 minced onion (40 g)
  • 6 whole shrimp (head-on)
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 1/4 cup of minced shallots (50 g)
  • 1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese (150 g)
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (20 ml)

Instructions

  • To make the broth, use the shrimp heads (previously washed) and whatever vegetables you like. Also add a bay leaf, a bit of rosemary, and one mashed garlic clove.
  • First, saute the onion, shallots, and rice with the olive oil.
  • Then add the white wine and let evaporate.
  • Once evaporated, start adding the broth a bit at a time. Each time you add some, stir well and check the rice to see how much more it needs to be cooked.
  • As you wait for the rice to cook, brown the shrimp (previously washed) in a pan with olive oil. Once golden, season with salt and pepper.
  • Next, when the rice is al dente, add the asparagus (previously grilled and al dente as well).
  • Now you’ll immediately start forming the risotto: add the butter and Parmesan cheese. For it to turn out well, you need medium heat and willingness to stir the mixture very well.
  • Once it’s creamy and smooth, serve with the shrimp on top.