Pass the Risotto, Please.

Posted by on Feb 19, 2014 in Pasta | 0 comments







Risotto equals intimidation for most home cooks.  The warning signs and symptoms of a failed final dish (as well as the silly demand for constant stirring) unwittingly preempt the glorious passive ritual -- creating the epitome of soul worthy sustenance.


Creamy Italian rice cooked slowly, intuitively and with no worries is the perfect canvas to show case fresh seasonal fare or on- the- fly pantry staples.  Risotto-making is old school, like riding a bicycle in the driveway and then taking off the training wheels for the open road.


Make it when you have enough free time to learn the dance steps.  Then one day gather hungry friends in the kitchen to keep time with you.

Good thing I  was naïve to the hoopla and admonishments surrounding the perils of babysitting risotto.     The method requires a wooden spoon, an ear to hear and a look-see now and again.








For me, the only wild card is how much liquid it takes to transform the bits of rice to creamy carriers of flavor and cheese.

MP swoons when I announce I am making risotto (usually after a movie in the fancy seats) and usually the match-up is a combination of dried exotic mushrooms renewed with a handful of fresh sliced ones too.








The kindnesses of Lundberg Family Farms initiated my latest risotto rendezvous.  Their gift to me was a generous sampling of products ranging from the time honored go-to staples alongside newer always-sustainable essential grain blends.  The convenient zippered bag of ‘Vialone Nano’ (white Arborio rice) called to me at once.

Partner with quality products and the process not so much the recipe…








Sauté onions with olive oil until translucent (I used fresh mushrooms and chopped thyme too).








Add Arborio rice and toast until every grain is coated.








Add white wine; cook until almost completely absorbed.








Add half a cup of hot chicken (or vegetable) stock at a time; stir until absorbed, then repeat.  This was homemade turkey stock I froze at Christmastime.





















If you run short of hot stock finish the risotto to its lovely final viscosity with water.















Add butter and cheese and mix until melted.








Adjust the seasonings; stir in a handful of fresh parsley and scoop onto a plate with more cheese --if you are MP.







Fresh Shiitake Mushroom Risotto with Cranberry Turkey Meatloaf and Roasted Asparagus.

Let the comfort of it wash all over you!

Thank you Carol Hubbard and Lundberg Family--I feel totally sponsored.








Worthy of the stage, this unduplicated Morel and Scallop Risotto from last autumn.


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