If you don’t have homemade stock on hand, I suggest just simmering a carrot, an onion, a celery stalk, and a garlic clove in water for 20 minutes and using that. If you must use straight water, up the other flavorings a bit
2 tablespoons butter or extra virgin olive oil, to taste
1 medium onion, chopped
Large pinch saffron threads (optional)
11/2 cups Arborio or other short- or medium-grain rice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine or water
4 to 6 cups chicken, beef, or vegetable stock
2 to 4 tablespoons softened butter or extra virgin olive
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
- Put the 2 tablespoons butter or oil in a large, deep nonstick skillet over medium heat. (Allow the remaining butter to soften while you cook.)When the butter is melted or the oil is hot, add the onion and saffron and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Add the rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is glossy and coated with butter or oil, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add a little salt and pepper, then the white wine. Stir and let the liquid bubble away.
- Use a ladle to begin adding the stock, 1/2 cup or so at a time, stirring after each addition. When the stock is just about evaporated, add more. The mixture should be neither soupy nor dry. Keep the heat at medium to medium-high and stir frequently.
- Begin tasting the rice 20 minutes after you add it;
you want it to be tender but still with a tiny bit of
crunch; it could take as long as 30 minutes to reach this
stage. When it does, stir in the softened butter or oil
(more is better, at least from the perspective of taste!) and
at least 1/2 cup of Parmesan if you’re using it. Taste, adjust
the seasoning, and serve immediately, passing additional
Parmesan at the table if you like.
- Risotto alla Milanese.
- The classic: Use the saffron and add 1/4 cup chopped prosciutto (or bone marrow when you can find it) along with the onion.
- MAKES: 4 to 6 servings
- TIME: 45 minutes