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Basic Risotto

January/February 2011

Your rating: None Average: 3.6 (14 votes)

Slowly adding hot broth to arborio rice helps release the starch from the rice, giving risotto its characteristic silky, creamy texture. We add a splash of wine along with each addition of broth to give the dish a more pronounced wine flavor. If you’d prefer the wine to be more subtle, add the entire cup at the end of Step 2 and cook, stirring, until the liquid is absorbed, then begin adding the broth. If you prefer to omit wine, use more broth in its place.


Basic Risotto Recipe

Makes: 8 side-dish servings, about 2/3 cup each

Active Time:

Total Time:

Ingredients

  • 5 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth, beef broth, seafood stock, bottled clam juice, “no-chicken” broth or vegetable broth (see Notes)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped shallots or onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups arborio, carnaroli or other Italian “risotto” rice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup finely shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste

Preparation

  1. Bring broth to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat so the broth remains steaming, but is not simmering.
  2. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add shallots (or onion) and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add rice and salt and stir to coat.
  3. Stir 1/2 cup of the hot broth and a generous splash of wine into the rice. Cook, stirring frequently, until the liquid has been absorbed. Continue to cook on medium-low, adding broth in 1/2-cup increments followed by a splash of wine, and stirring frequently after each addition, until most of the liquid is absorbed. The risotto is done when you’ve used all the broth and wine and the rice is creamy and just tender, 25 to 35 minutes total.
  4. Remove from the heat; stir in 3/4 cup cheese and pepper. Serve sprinkled with the remaining 1/4 cup cheese.

Tips & Notes

  • Notes: Bottled clam juice can be very high in sodium. We like Bar Harbor brand, which has 120 mg sodium per 2-ounce serving. Look for it in the canned-fish section or the seafood department of your supermarket.
  • Chicken-flavored broth, a vegetarian broth despite its name, is preferable to vegetable broth in some recipes for its hearty, rich flavor. Sometimes called “No-Chicken Broth,” it can be found with the soups in the natural-foods section of most supermarkets.

Nutrition

Per serving: 242 calories; 6 g fat (2 g sat, 4 g mono); 7 mg cholesterol; 32 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 9 g protein; 1 g fiber; 593 mg sodium; 228 mg potassium.

Carbohydrate Servings: 2

Exchanges: 2 starch, 1 fat



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