There is something extremely comforting about eating risotto; it’s probably my favourite comfort food. Many people find risotto fiddly to make and are put-off by the need to constantly stir the rice. This is actually why I like making risotto. Standing at the stove pouring and stirring for around 20 minutes, is actually my idea of bliss. I find it extremely relaxing and gives me time to just “be”. I wholeheartedly recommend it.
Even though the title of this recipe might suggest there’s cream in it, there’s actually not, the creamy texture comes from the starch molecules that are released through the constant stirring, together with the addition of the cold cubes of butter and grated parmesan cheese that are stirred in vigorously at the end, just before serving.
Serves: 4 as main, or 6 as a starter
- 100g of unsalted butter
- 1tbsp of olive oil
- 3 shallots or 1 onion, finely chopped
- 500g of Carnaroli, Arborio or Vialone Nano rice
- 300ml of white wine
- 1.2l of chicken or vegetable stock
- 2 x 400g of tinned chopped plum tomatoes
- 1 ½tsp of rosemary (fresh preferably), finely chopped
- 100g of Parmesan cheese, finely grated and extra for serving
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Melt half of the butter and olive oil in a heavy, wide saucepan that has a lid.
- Add the shallots or onion and gently fry for around 5 minutes until softened.
- Add the rice and give it a good stir to ensure all the grains are covered with the oil and butter. After about a minute, the rice will start to look translucent.
- Add the wine to the rice and keep stirring until the rice has absorbed the flavour of the wine and the harsh alcohol flavours have evaporated.
- In a separate saucepan, heat up the stock and keep it at a low simmer.
- Add a ladle of the stock to the rice.
- Turn the heat down and keep stirring the rice until the rice has absorbed all the stock.
- Add another ladle of stock and stir again. Add the tinned tomatoes and chopped rosemary.
- Continue adding the stock until the rice is al dente.
- Once the rice is al dente, take it off the heat and add the remaining butter and Parmesan cheese. Stir well.
- Have a taste and season if required.
- Pop the lid on the saucepan and let sit for 2 minutes.
- Sprinkle some more grated or shaved Parmesan on the top of the risotto and serve immediately.
Domestic Princess tips:
- Do not wash the rice. The starch in the rice is essential to make your risotto creamy.
- Don’t be tempted to leave your post of chief stirrer – this is probably the most critical part of making a delicious risotto. Stir, stir stir!
- Don’t rush the adding of the stock. Each ladle needs to be absorbed before the next one is added.
- The stock must be hot when adding it to the rice. Cold stock will result in hard, uncooked rice.
- As you come towards the end of the cooking process, add smaller quantities of the stock, as adding too much will mean an overcooked risotto.
- Start tasting the risotto around 15 to 17 minutes after adding the first ladle of stock
- You may not need to use all the stock; equally, you might use all of it with the rice still not cooked. If this happens, add hot water instead of stock.
- Risotto should be eaten as soon as it has finished cooking, as otherwise it clumps together and can dry out as it carries on cooking.
- If you want to make this a vegetarian dish, choose a vegetarian Parmesan cheese.
- Bangaloreans, you can buy fresh Rosemary in most Namdharis and also the new supermarket in 1MG.
Please don’t be put-off by the constant stirring, it really is easy and is so satisfying to make. Oh and did I mention absolutely delicious? What’s your favourite comfort food? Please share it with me in the comments box.
With much love
The Domestic Princess