I recently looked in my fridge and realized I had almost everything I needed to make a Risotto. It’s pretty easy to find yourself with a dry white wine, unsalted butter, parmesan, Chicken stock, and garlic (especially when you’ve been making other Italian foods). So I picked up some arborio rice (available in almost every grocery store and at least every Whole Foods) and got cracking!
Risotto may seem daunting but here’s a little secret. Risotto is almost always tasty, whether it’s al dente and “stiff” or a big soft mess. So if it doesn’t turn out perfectly, at least you still have some darn good rice to eat. So don’t stress, just do your best to follow along and enjoy the results (it always looks messy anyways). This particular risotto I made with whatever I had in my fridge which happened to be some fresh basil, some miniature sweet peppers (substitute a bell pepper if you need to, I prefer red) and lots of parmesan.
- 2 TBS olive oil
- 2 TBS butter, divided
- 3 small miniature sweet peppers (or a half of a red or orange/yellow bell), diced
- 2 cloves of garlic,minced
- 5 cups chicken stock
- 1 1/2 cups of Arborio rice
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 TBS Basil, chopped
- 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a medium-sized stock pot keep the chicken stock warm (medium high heat), but don’t bring to a boil. In a separate large stock pot, heat the olive oil and 1 TBS of butter until butter is completely melted.
- Add the minced garlic and diced peppers (you could also add a half an onion, diced here) and sauté on Medium heat until the peppers are tender and slightly translucent and the garlic has just started to brown. Then add the Arborio rice to the large stock pot stirring frequently until the rice is evenly coated in the olive oil/butter mixture and begins to become clear (approx. 2-3 minutes) but not browned.
- Pour in the wine and stir frequently. Once it has been fully absorbed (no liquid left on the bottom of the pot) start ladling in the chicken stock, a half a cup at a time. After each half cup is added, stir frequently and wait to add the next half of a cup until all of the stock is absorbed into the rice.
- Continue to add the stock slowly until all of it is gone. Then add the remaining 1 TBSP of butter, Basil, and parmesan into the risotto (the parmesan will immediately thicken the risotto). Season with salt and pepper to taste (I start with 1 tsp of salt and then add a little as needed, tasting often).
- Serve piping hot! And of course ask me if you have any questions!