This risotto recipe is completely versatile, once you master this technique you can make any risotto you like.
Risotto, like pasta, can be mixed with so many different ingredients.
Creativity can flow freely and adapt to each season and country.
It is important to follow the basic guidelines on how to make a perfect Italian Risotto.
However, once you master them you are set.
You can experiment with many different flavours, making a different one each day.
Here I make Risotto alla Milanese (saffron) and Risotto with Porcini mushrooms.
This post is sponsored by Riso Gallo
The key to its success is to use a quality rice, and with ‘Riso Gallo’ you cannot go wrong. (affiliate link)
They are one of the oldest Italian rice producers and the largest producer in Europe.
They have been operating since 1856, and their rice is available in most European supermarkets.
However, if you are planning to make a “Signature Risotto” you need to use Carnaroli Grand Riserva, produced to very high standards it can assure a perfect result each time.
Because risotto requires a lot of stirring I would recommend using a wooden spoon with a comfortable handle, and here is my Amazon affiliate link:
It is also very important to use homemade stock.
This is why I always have my homemade stock reserve in the freezer!
If you missed the post about stock, you can find it here.
For 500 gr of rice you will use approximately 1.5 litres of stock.
Once you have the right ingredients and tools at hand (a wooden spoon and a large pan) you are ready to start cooking this risotto recipe:
Stir fry the onion with butter at a very low heat, the onion should not burn.
Once the onion becomes translucent, add the rice and increase the heat.
The rice has to toast in the butter so that the grains are sealed.
Once the rice is toasted add 1 cup of white wine and let it evaporate.
Some people use expensive wine (+15€ ).
I don’t, sorry Risotto. I’d rather drink it myself!!
Once the wine has evaporated, lower the heat but not too much.
Add the first ladle of warm stock and start counting the cooking time.
The stock in the rice should be boiling all the time.
The stock should be kept warm at low heat in a pan next to the rice.
If you are making the classic Risotto alla Milanese, the saffron should be already mixed in the beef stock.
Some people prefer to use chicken stock to keep the yellow colour intact.
I like the visual aspect of food but if I have to compromise taste for look, I prioritize the taste.
So to make my Risotto alla Milanese I use brown beef stock exclusively made with bone marrow.
If you are making Risotto ai Funghi Porcini (Cepe in French) with fresh Porcini mushroom, I would recommend using dry Porcini as well.
The water where you soak the dry mushrooms is full of flavour, and you can add it to the stock you use to cook the rice. The rice will absorb the flavour of the porcini while cooking, enhancing its earthy taste.
Dice the fresh Porcini mushrooms and stir fry them separately with garlic.
Add them at the end, once the rice is cooked.
This way the fresh mushrooms will not mash but remain whole, adding a nice chewy porcini texture to each bite.
If it is not the Porcini season you can use the frozen Porcini instead of the fresh one, not too bad!!
Cooking the rice
The rice should be continually stirred and stock added regularly but only 1 or 2 ladles at a time. If immersed in the stock the rice will have a boiled taste.
Add the stock only when “the rice asks for it”, and always in small quantities.
The rice must be continually stirred so that the grains do not stick together. It is the friction of the stirring that creates that typical creamy consistency of the risotto.
Adding the ingredients
Whatever risotto you are making is up to you or the recipe you are following as to when you need to add the additional ingredients.
Vegetables, fish or meat, should already have been cooked separately, and added towards the end of the cooking process.
Each rice has a cooking time written on the package, usually around 15 to 20 minutes.
But you should not follow it to the minute, use only as a reference.
It is only by tasting it that you can perfectly time when the Risotto is cooked and ready to eat.
Once the rice is cooked, it has to be “mantecato” which means you have to add fat. It originated from the Spanish word Manteca, butter.
This makes the rice creamier and shiny.
Normally butter and parmesan are added, but depending on the recipe sometime it is olive oil, or yogurt.
The rice should be stirred well and covered for a minutes for the fat to be absorbed.
Once rested, the Risotto is ready to be served!
Now that you know the basic rules to make the perfect Italian risotto, get your imagination going and make your own risotto recipe. Please, tell me your ideas in the comments below, I would be delighted to hear.
For measurement conversions see post: How much is a Cup in grams and the most useful cooking conversions
The Perfect Whatever Risotto Recipe
Base ingredients for Risotto
- 70 gr butter
- 1 large onion diced
- 1 cup white wine
- 500 gr Risotto Rice Carnaroli Riso Gallo (Grand Riserva)
- 1.2 lt homemade stock (vegeterian, chicken, beef or fish based on the recipe)
- 40 gr parmesan cheese grated
Additional ingredients for Risotto alla Milanese
- 1 package saffron (use brown beef stock)
Additional ingredients for Risotto with Porcini Mushroom
- 1 pakage dried porcini
- 300 gr fresh porcini (Frozes Porcini if it is not the season)
- 2 cleves fresh garlic
- 20 gr butter
- 1 cup boiling water to soak dried mushrooms and add to the chicken or beef stock
Stir-frying the Rice
- Stir fry the onion with 30 gr of butter at a very low heat, the onion should not burn.
- Once the onion becomes translucent, add the rice and increase the heat. The rice has to toast in the butter so that the grains are sealed.
- Once the rice is toasted add 1 cup of white wine and let it evaporate.
Preparing the stock
- Warm up the stock. It should be kept warm at low heat in a pan next to the rice.
Stock for Risotto alla Milanese
- Use brown beef stock exclusively made with bone marrow and add 1 or 2 packages of saffron
Stock for Porcini Risotto
- You can use either brown beef or chicken stock. Soak the dry mushrooms in hot water for 10 minutes and add the water to the stock.
- In a separate pan stir-fry the fresh (or frozen) Porcini mushrooms with butter, garlic salt and pepper. Remove the garlic once cooked.
Cooking the rice
- Once the wine has evaporated, lower the heat but not too much. Add the first ladle of warm stock and start counting the cooking time. The stock in the rice should be boiling all the time.
- The rice should be continually stirred and stock added regularly but only 1 or 2 ladles at a time.
Adding the ingredients
- Vegetables, fish or meat, should already have been cooked separately, and added towards the end of the cooking process. Usually after 13 minutes of cooking. in this case add the Procini mushrooms.
- After 15/18 minutes of cooking the rice, taste it to check if done and if it needs more salt or pepper. Adjust seasoning.
- Once the rice is done to your taste, take it away from the heat. Add the remaining butter and Parmesan, stir well, cover and let it rest for 10 minutes.
Fat 15 gr per serving
Carbohydrates 82 gr per serving
Cholesterol 42 mg
Proteins 14 gr per serving
Sugar 3 gr per serving
Sodium 136 mg per serving