Sunday, 4 July 2010

Sunday Saver- Throw Anything in Risotto

Yes I know what your going to say, risotto can can either go one of two ways, not cooked or overcooked and its hard to get it spot on, right?. Wrong! If a numpty like me who thought Walsall was in Poland can cook the perfect risotto anyone can.
This recipe is an amalgamation of a few different tips and recipes I picked up in the quest for a right-on risotto and is your basic blue-print risotto before you start adding other yummy flavours or left overs you have, that's what makes this recipe so kind on your purse strings.
so, lets get started on the basic risotto.

  • 350g Risotto rice, most supermarkets do an own brand version for less than £1.50 (naturally gluten-free, hooray!)
  • 50g Butter
  • 2 tbsp's Olive oil
  • 1 Onion finely chopped
  • 50g Grated Parmesan
  • 1.5-1.75 Litres of gluten-free stock (any you like, I use veggie stock. Bouillon do various GF stock cubes)
here we go, easy-peasy even a monkey could do it risotto method!
  • Before you start of the risotto, pop a nice big pan of stock on to heat ready for when you need to add it to the rice. Apparently the first thing you should do whenever you cook anything is pop a pan of water on to boil because at some point you will need it!
  • Heat your oil and half the butter in a big pan, they say a saute pan is best, I neither know what that is nor do I think I own one so I just you a heavy based wide pan with enough room for all the rice and stock that will be added later. Add the onion and cook until softened. If you wanted to add other vegetables, peppers, mushrooms,garlic etc now would be the time to add them along with the onions.
  • Add the rice and stir through so that the rice is coated in all the oil and butter.
  • I always add white wine to my risotto, it doesn't need to be expensive wine either, slug a large glass of wine in if you'd like and simmer until the rice has absorbed the wine. If you would prefer not to add wine add your first ladleful of hot stock instead. Working on the assumption you add wine as I do, next add your first ladleful of hot stock and let the rice absorb it before adding another ladleful.
  • The rice should be cooked after around 20-25 minutes and should be al dente and nearly all your stock should be added to the pan. don't panic if you have some left over or if you've added all the stock, I've learnt that risotto rice can be unpredictable so don't worry if the amount of stock you use varies every time you make risotto. remember you will also have some stock left over if you added wine.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and let the rice absorb whatever is left of the stock. Don't stir, I know the temptation is overwhelming sometimes to stir something your cooking but don't.
  • A good risotto should be creamy (apparently) and the Italians call this all'onda or wavy (random fact to use at dinner parties!). Just before you serve it stir in the rest of the butter, Parmesan and season. Enjoy with the bottle of wine you added of glass of at the start!
....And here's a few things you could throw in..
  • Lemon and Leek- Make like Phil Vickery and add lemon rind and fried leeks to your risotto just before serving
  • Mushrooms- Soak 200g of dried porcini 'shroom's in hot water, add with 300g of sliced fresh mushrooms to the onion at the start of cooking
  • Vegetable- Peppers,cook at the start with the onions, peas stir through later after the last ladleful of stock.
  • Meat and Fish- Stir pre-cooked prawns in at the end of cooking to heat through, add pre-cooked chicken in the same way, or fry chorizo with the onions at the start to get that lovely paprika taste running through the risotto.


  1. Ciao, I love risotto! In winter I love it with pumpkin, in spring with asparagus and in summer I love Insalata di riso. Rice is ok in every season!LOL

  2. Pumpkin risotto sounds yummy manu, I've never tried it before. Do you pre-cook the pumpkin the oven and then add to the risotto later? x

  3. Katie, I just cut pumpkin into dices and put them into a pan with some oil and cook for 10 minutes. Then I add a glass of withe wine, and rice and mix (to avoid rice sticking to the pan). At the end I add vegetable stock and keep on cooking. When it's done I add a dice of butter and some grated parmesan cheese. I use to serve it after 5 minutes (the right time to make all ingredients mix together)


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