Risotto is a rice dish originating in Italy, particularly in the northern region of Italy. It is a very popular food made by sautéing rice in olive oil, onion, garlic, or whatever herb the recipe calls for, and then adding ladles of simmering broth while stirring constantly, until the rice absorbs the broth. Cooking or “toasting” the rice in hot oil or butter is essential to help the rice absorb the liquid more easily and produce a rice dish that is tender but not mushy. It usually takes 20-25 minutes to cook a risotto.
The secret of a perfect risotto lies in using Arborio rice, which is a short grain variety capable of absorbing large amounts of liquid while maintaining its shape.Apart from Arborio rice, other Italian short grain varieties are Vialone Nano, Carnaroli and Baldo. Short grain rice is starchy, and Italians find rice the most perfect for risotto rice.
A traditional Italian risotto dish is completely satisfying. It can be simple or complex. If you are in Italy, you will experience the many versions of risottos in full flavors, from vegetables to fish, meat and poultry to delicious cheese risottos. This creamy Italian rice dish is a versatile food. You can serve it as a main dish, side dish and you can use the leftover risottos to make a new dish like rice cakes and fried rice balls or just use it to thicken soups or broths.
Although risotto is easy to prepare, the first time you make it may not be the best. It may take a while to learn, but once you’ve mastered the technique, it’s easy to make your own risotto dishes for all occasions. Here’s a traditional Italian vegetable risotto recipe that you might start with.
• 1 medium zucchini
• 10-ounce squash or pumpkin wedge
• 1 tomato steak
• 2 cloves of garlic
• 1 large onion
• 4 cups of hot broth (chicken or vegetables)
• 2 tablespoons of olive oil
• 1 cup risotto rice
• 1 tablespoon of dry sherry wine (or any wine)
• 4 canned artichoke hearts, drained
• Salt and pepper
• 2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley
How To Cook:
Cut out the zucchini and cut it into small cubes. Peel the pumpkin or squash, remove the seeds and cut into cubes. Cover the tomato with boiling water for 30 seconds and then soak it in cold water. Peel the skin, remove the seeds and cut into quarters. Peel the onion and garlic and cut them finely. Bring the broth to a boil and then simmer. In a large skillet with a heavy base, heat the oil and lightly sauté the onions. Add the risotto rice and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the garlic and then the sherry wine. Gradually add the broth in small batches, stirring over low to medium heat until each batch of liquid has been absorbed. Let it rest for about 20 minutes to cook.
Add the remaining stock along with the zucchini and squash and cook for 10 more minutes, stirring constantly. Quarter artichoke hearts and add to risotto, season with salt and pepper, then transfer to warmed soup bowls. Sprinkle each with chopped tomato and garnish with parsley leaves.