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It’s 6 pm and I’ve done nothing about dinner. My husband has a one-word answer: risotto. Twenty minutes later, dinner is served. Really. Risotto is our favorite fast-and-easy dinner. Sometimes we even serve it to guests, but it seems too simple.

What’s the best aspect of risotto? Creaminess. It’s so creamy that I have serve it in a soup bowl in order to contain the liquid. I serve it with a spoon, not a fork, so I don’t miss a drop. To achieve creaminess, use the short Italian rice for risotto, plus rich stock, and finish with heavy cream and cheese.

Do you have to stir risotto constantly? No, occasionally is just fine. Just make sure that there is always plenty of liquid in the pan and the rice never gets dry.

To cook a really fast risotto, use a pressure cooker, which takes 7 minutes.

Risotto

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups Carnaroli rice
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ cup white wine or dry vermouth
  • 4-6 cups hot chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Grated parmesan cheese to taste

In a sauce pan, heat the olive oil and sauté the onions until tender. Add the garlic. Add the rice and coat the kernels with oil. Season well. Add the wine. Ladle the stock, a cup at a time, into the rice. Over medium heat, continue to stir and when the rice starts to get dry, add more stock. Simmer until the rice is creamy, but still al dente, about 20 minutes. Add the cream and cheese.

Need to brush up on your risotto technique? Upcoming risotto cooking classes are on October 30 (butternut squash-pancetta risotto), November 11 (mushroom risotto), November 19 (pumpkin risotto), December 5, and December 6 (mushroom-farro risotto).