When hearing or reading the word Risotto, your mind pictures a succulent dish that makes your mouth water. You can almost feel the creaminess and warm feeling that only this exquisite food evocates; but not any risotto: a classic Italian risotto.
Risotto is a traditional Italian dish distinctive for its creaminess and natural flavors. It seems to be intimidating to prepare at home, requiring lots of ingredients and professional cooking techniques. Nothing further from reality, this classic dish needs few ingredients and it is very easy to prepare.
It is super easy to make, just using the correct type of rice, some ingredients from your fridge, and the proper cooking technique, you will end up with a delightful risotto.
But, if you want to try a classic Italian dish, let’s know the types of Italian Risotto you can effortlessly make at home.
Knowing Risotto’s history
The risotto was created in Northern Italy where the marshes of the Po river valley were perfect to grow the short-grain type of rice. Thanks to this ease of cultivation, rice spread all over northern regions and became a staple in most cuisines.
The legend explained that a young glassblower’s apprentice from Milan was very upset because people made fun of him for using saffron in all his paintings. As revenge, he decided to add tons of saffron threads to the rice cooked for his master’s wedding.
The result was a delicious rice dish loved by every guest. This is how Risotto Alla Milanese was created. The original recipe includes Arborio o Carnaroli rice, butter, saffron, onion, beef stock, and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
Detailing different types of Italian risotto
Besides Risotto Alla Milanese, you can find countless types of risotto all over Italy. They highlight the local ingredients and flavors of each region. The most popular are:
Risotto ai Frutti di mare: Made with Arborio o Carnaroli rice, shrimps, clams, lobster, squid, mussels, butter, garlic, onions, fish, or vegetable stock, parsley, and wine.
Risotto al Limone: With Arborio o Carnaroli rice, butter, shallots, egg yolk, lemon juice, and grated lemon zest.
Risotto ai funghi porcini: It includes Carnaroli or Arborio rice, porcini mushrooms, butter, olive oil, shallots, meat stock, white wine, and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Risotto al Vino Bianco: It has Arborio, Carnaroli, or Vialone Nano rice, onion, garlic, olive oil, high-quality dry white wine, vegetable broth, butter, and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, salt, and pepper.
Cooking and exquisite risotto
If you still believe cooking such a delicious risotto is too complicated and time-consuming, you don’t have to be afraid. By following simple tips, using high-quality ingredients, and the proper recipe like the one from the white rice recipe by Carolina® rice, the result will be an outstanding risotto.
To make this process easier, and build your confidence, let’s first make a simple but delicious recipe: Risotto al Vino Bianco. When you realize you can effortlessly cook this Italian risotto, you will dare to cook more sophisticated recipes.
Risotto al vino bianco (White Wine Risotto)
Ingredients (4 servings):
- 2 cups of Arborio or Carnaroli or Vialone Nano rice.
- 1 finely chopped white onion.
- 2 finely chopped cloves of garlic.
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
- 3 tablespoons of butter.
- 2 cups dry white wine (Sauvignon Blanc, Albarino or Chardonnay)
- 4 cups of vegetable broth.
- 1 cup of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Before starting to cook the risotto, start by warming the vegetable broth and keep it warm during the entire risotto’s cooking process.
- Incorporate olive oil, onions, and garlic in a saucepan at medium heat.
- Cook until onion and garlic get a golden color.
- Add rice and stir very well until rice is completely covered with oil. Toast rice for 5 minutes. Incorporate salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour white wine little by little. It is important to add liquid to the rice in small amounts, pouring a little just after it has been absorbed.
- Continue adding the rest of the white wine, continuously stirring each time.
- Then, add a little warm vegetable broth at a time, when it is absorbed, add more.
- When rice is soft, turn off the heat. Incorporate butter and half of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.
- Stir very well, place a lid on the saucepan, and let it rest for 10 minutes.
- Serve warm with the extra grated Parmigiano-Reggiano on the top.