Authentic Italian Recipes, Italian Food Recipes, Homemade Pizza Recipes, Homemade Pasta Recipes, Italian Cuisine
I’ve always been interested in risotto secrets, that is how to make real, creamy, Italian style risotto. So I decided to find out about all the tips and tricks. Risotto secrets of the real thing, served only in the best restaurants worldwide or throughout Italy. I thought I would share the secret of this dish with you.
Risotto is one of the iconic dishes of Italian cuisine. It’s a creamy, savory dish made of round, short or medium grain rice with meat or vegetables. Risotto has at least as many types as there are kinds of vegetables and meat under the Tuscan sun. In Italy risotto, just like pasta, is usually served as a starter (primi piatti). Try it once, and you wouldn’t want to live without it anymore!
What are the real risotto secrets? What makes a risotto truly Italian? To tell you the truth, you have to pay attention to many details, including the use of excellent ingredients and the method of cooking. I have gathered the most important tricks here. You can also find an article on how to make risotto clicking on the link.
To get the unmistakeably creamy texture you must use risotto rice, which is round shaped and with high starch content. This kind of rice is rarely used for other than risotto. It is available in most supermarkets, and in most cases there is an indication for risotto type rice on the packaging.
The most commonly known type of risotto rice is Arborio. But Italians use many others, such as: Baldo, Padano, Roma, Carnaroli and Vialone Nano. The last two, Carnaroli and Vialone Nano, are considered to be the best ones for making risotto.
Of course, risotto rice cooks in water as well, but it won’t make your risotto really creamy and you’ll miss the big part of the flavors. That is why it is very important to use the best quality, or even homemade chicken stock or vegetable stock. To intensify the flavors, the stock can be even reduced to half before being added to the rice.
I’m preparing a detailed article on how to cook risotto, but until it’s ready, here is a short summary:
First sauté onion and garlic (sometimes carrots and celery are used as well) in a mix of olive oil and butter for a few minutes, then add rice. It is important to sauté the rice for a couple of minutes in this oil/butter/onion/garlic base to get the right texture. Add a little white wine, stir and let it evaporate.
Then it is time for cooking. The stock has to be hot, and added to the rice little by little (1 – 1 1/2 ladle, that is 1/3-1/2 cup or 100-150 ml at a time), otherwise your risotto won’t be creamy. Usually, I cook the risotto and heat up the chicken stock side by side as you can see in the picture below. It makes it easier to transfer the stock from one pot to the other and keep both at the right temperature. Add stock, stir and let it evaporate. Repeat it till the risotto is done, cooked al dente. Cooking time is usually shown on the packaging of the rice.
Start with sautéing the onion and garlic on a mix of olive oil and butter, and add some more butter at the end. Grated Parmesan cheese is not really a kind of fat but it is also indispensable to add a good amount of it to the risotto before it is done. Again, to intensify the flavors.
Picture: Chicken liver risotto