Filed Under: easy risotto, For beginners, italian, Quick, risotto

Crazy Easy Risotto

This Italian rice dish is often considered time-consuming to make (it isn’t) and finicky (not at all). Try this simplified recipe and you may just impress your Italian grandmother. If you have one, that is.

August 8th, 2017

From CLUELESS IN THE KITCHEN: COOKING FOR BEGINNERS, by Evelyn Raab

Maybe you’ve eaten risotto in a restaurant or at someone’s home. This Italian rice dish is often considered time-consuming to make (it isn’t) and finicky (not at all). Try this simplified recipe and you may just impress your Italian grandmother. If you have one, that is.

Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp. (30 ml) olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp. (15 ml) butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cups (500 ml) prepared vegetables
  • 1½ cups (375 ml) Arborio rice (yes, you should use this kind)
  • 4 cups (1 liter) chicken or vegetable broth (prepared broth or made from bouillon cubes or powder)
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) grated Parmesan cheese (plus more to sprinkle at the table)
  • ½ tsp. (2 ml) salt
  • ¼ tsp. (1 ml) black pepper
  • thinly sliced fresh mushrooms
  • fresh asparagus, cut into ½-inch (1 cm) pieces
  • broccoli florets
  • fresh or frozen peas
  • fresh spinach, chopped (add only in the last 10 minutes of cooking time)
  • butternut squash, peeled and cut into ½-inch (1 cm) cubes
  • zucchini, cut into ½-inch (1 cm) cubes
Directions
  1. In a medium saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, combine the oil and butter, and place over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until softened and beginning to turn golden.

  2. If you’re using mushrooms, add them now. Cook, stirring, until the mushrooms have softened and released their juices and the liquid has almost entirely evaporated — 5 to 7 minutes.

  3. Add the rice and stir for a couple of minutes, then add all the broth. If you’re using any other vegetable except for mushrooms, add it now along with the broth. Bring to a boil, stirring to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot. As soon as it reaches a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot with the lid and cook — without stirring or looking or any kind of fussing whatsoever — for 15 minutes.

  4. After 15 minutes, remove the lid, stir in the Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. The risotto should be creamy but not runny. If it’s too dry, you can add a bit of water or broth to loosen it up. The risotto will thicken as it cools.

  5. Serve immediately with additional Parmesan for sprinkling at the table.

Crazy Easy Risotto
Copyright © 2017 Firefly Books Ltd. Photographs © 2017 by Mike McColl

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