Risotto in Bianco - Basic Risotto
Risotto making can be very challenging. However, the more often you make it, the better it will be and the easier it will become for you to create your own variations. The most important elements you should keep in mind when making a risotto are:
- Use a homemade stock. Do not use bouillon or any powdered stock. Using plain hot water would actually be preferred.
- Cook the rice in a large saucepan (copper if possible for even distribution of heat).
- Use top-quality fresh ingredients to add into your risotto.
- Remove the risotto from the flame before it is al dente since it will continue to cook off the heat.
- Finish the risotto with plenty of stock so that it is all'onda (wavy) and not solid like mashed potatoes.
1 small white onion, finely chopped as close to the size of a kernel of rice (do not use a food processor, it decreases flavor)
1/2 stick of unsalted butter
1 cup dry white wine
2 cups of Principato di Lucedio Carnaroli Rice
1 Qt. Stock or water
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Optional: the flavor or ingredient of your choice, such as saffron threads, Barolo wine, porcini mushrooms, gorgonzola, cooked sausage, or any leftover meat or fish, cut in small cubes.
- Warm the stock to a gentle simmer.
- Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium flame making sure that it does not burn nor turn color.
- Add the finely chopped onion with a pinch of salt, and cook until translucent but not colored.
- Mix in the rice and turn up the flame to high, and continue to mix vigorously until you hear the rice cracking with the heat. The toasting time of the rice is very important but also very dangerous; please make sure you do not burn it.
- Once you see the rice has absorbed most of the butter, pour the white wine over it and mix well. Let the alcohol evaporate, and then add at least 4 ladles of warm stock and mix well.
- Once it is well mixed, lower the flame and stir well to avoid sticking. When the stock has evaporated and the mixture is at a porridge consistency, add 2 ladlefuls of stock and gently continue to stir. Continue to add a stock one ladleful at a time. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Mix in your optional ingredient of choice, and continue to cook until almost al dente. When you taste and feel you are getting close the point of doneness, add the last 2 ladlefuls of stock and turn the flame off. Stir one more time and remove from the heat and let the risotto rest, uncovered, for a few minutes.
Serve immediately in warm soup bowls and if appropriate, dust with Parmigiano or chopped herbs.