Traditional Italian Risotto Recipes
I gathered a few of my favourite risotto recipes below.
I find risotto one of the most soothing Italian dishes, and I have it very often in the winter.
Risotto is originally from the Veneto region, but all over Italy there are so many recipes that would be impossible to list them all.
The two main ingredients for making a good risotto or patience and care! Although the recipes below are quick, risotto requires patience in adding one ingredient after the next while mixing constantly and slowly.
Italians look after their risotto and taste it often while it's cooking... This in my opinion the first secret to make a great risotto.
Basic Risotto with parmesan cheese
This basic risotto recipe will get you accustomed to cooking risotto...
But it's also a soothing dish with great flavour.
A real treat and relief on a cold winter night, I found that this parmesan risotto really help me chill and relax. It's not a coincidence that Italian mums often use this dish to ease their children with cold or sore throat.
Ingredients for 3-4:
1.1 litres of meat, chicken or vegetable broth, preferably home-made
65 g. of butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
275 g. of medium-grain risotto rice, such as Arborio
100 ml. of dry white wine
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Heat the stock in a medium saucepan, and keep it simmering until it is needed.
In a large heavy frying pan, melt two-thirds of butter. Stir in the onion, and cook gently until it is soft and golden. Add the rice, mixing it well to coat it with butter. After 1-2 minutes pour in the wine.
Raise the heat slightly, and cook until the wine evaporates. Add one small ladleful of the hot stock. Over moderate heat cook until the stock is absorbed or evaporates, stirring the rice with a wooden spoon to prevent it from sticking to the pan.
Add a little more stock, and stir until the rice dries out again. Continue stirring and adding the liquid a little at a time. After about 20 minutes of cooking time, taste the rice. Add salt and pepper.
Continue cooking, stirring and adding the liquid until the rice is “al dente” or tender but still firm to the bite. The total cooking time of the risotto may be from 20-35 minutes. If you run out of stock, use hot water, but do not worry if the rice is done before you have used up all the stock.
Remove the risotto pan from the heat. Stir in the remaining butter and the cheese. Taste again for seasoning. Allow the risotto to rest 3-4 minutes before serving.
Spring Vegetable Risotto
In Italy this vegetable risotto is called Primavera, which means "Spring" in Italian.
Contrary to what many think, Lombardy is not the birthplace of risotto, but it is Veneto.
There are hundreds of risotto in Venice and Veneto, many more than in Lombardy.
This vegetarian risotto is made with spring vegetables, as its name suggests, which gives it the fresh flavour of new life.
Ingredients for 4:
1 onion , finely chopped
4 young carrots, finely diced
2 celery stalks, finely diced
50 g. of podded fresh peas
100 g. of green beans, cut into pieces
2 artichoke hearts, finely diced
12 asparagus tips
50 g. of hop shoots as “bruscandoli” (optional)
2 litres boiling chicken or vegetable stock
100 g. of butter
400 g. of risotto rice
Salt and pepper
60 g. of Parmesan, freshly grated
Have all the vegetables ready. Bring the sock to the boil in a pan and keep it at a low simmer.
Melt 50 g. of butter in a large pan and fry the onion until soft. Add the carrots and celery and cook for 5 minutes, then add the peas, green beans and artichokes. Stir over the heat briefly, then add the rice and stir to coat with the butter.
Ladle by ladle, add the boiling stock, allowing each addition to be absorbed before you add the next. After 10 minutes, add the asparagus and the hop shoots if using. Carry on adding stock and stirring, until the rice is “al dente”, about 20 minutes.
When the rice is cooked, everything else will be. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the rest of the butter and the Parmesan. Stir briskly and serve warm.
Balsamic Italian Risotto
This is a simple risotto recipe and the Traditional Balsamic Vinegar gives the dish a wonderful flavour. You can also try it with pumpkin for equally delicious results, guaranteed.
Ingredients for 6:
400 g. of Italian risotto rice, Carnaroli if possible
60 g. of butter
1 litre approx. of meat stock (or a stock cube)
80 g. approx. of grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
1 glass of dry white wine
2 or 3 tablespoons of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar
Place the finely sliced onion in a saucepan with a knob of butter and four tablespoons of water, Put the lid on and sweat the onion. Once it has softened, add the rice followed by the white wine and simmer until the wine has evaporated off.
Continue cooking, gradually adding ladlefuls of boiling stock to the rice as it is absorbed. When the rice is cooked, after around 15 minutes, remove from the heat and stir in the remaining butter and grated Parmigiano Reggiano plus 2 tablespoons of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar.
Allow to rest in the saucepan for a few minutes before serving in individual plates, garnished with a few drops of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar which will release its full, rich aroma as it comes into contact with the hot rice.
A few drops of vinegar added to individual plates as a final flourish make the dish truly wonderful.
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