Few things are more comforting than a creamy risotto. And with our clever tricks, you can elevate this Italian classic to perfection!
TOP TIPS FOR PERFECT RISOTTO
1. Choose arborio, baldo, carnaroli, vialone nano or roma varieties of rice. These all absorb the stock well, giving you that lovely thick, velvety texture.
2. Never wash your rice beforehand as this removes the starch, which is what helps give risotto its smooth texture.
3. Cook your risotto on a low, simmering heat and add the stock gradually, one ladle at a time. This gives the rice time to fully absorb the liquid and flavours.
4. Rushing your risotto will only ruin its texture. It’s well worth the wait – rather than risking undercooked rice.
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5. Keep your attention fully on your risotto, and don’t let it simmer unattended. Check and stir often to prevent it drying out or sticking to the bottom of the pan.
6. Adding too much stock or leaving the pan on the heat for too long will overcook the risotto, which turns the rice into stodge. It should be fat and tender on the outside but still have a little bite in the centre.
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Once you master a world-class basic risotto, have a go at adding extra ingredients:
- Give extra flavour to your vegetable or fish stock by adding prawn shells or fish bones and bring to the boil. Strain and return to the pan to keep warm before ladling over your rice.
- Stir cooked king prawns, clams and mussels through your risotto. Finish with a knob of butter, a squeeze of lemon, chopped parsley and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
- For a really earthy hit, put a handful of dried porcini mushrooms in a bowl, cover with a little stock and leave for two minutes, before adding to your main stock.
- Pan-fry sliced mixed mushrooms such as girolle, porcini, morel and oyster then add a handful of chopped parsley, and season to perfection. Stir through your risotto.