I have been making risotto for over 15 years with my Dad. Not only was it one of my favorite meals, it was also one I have learned many different ways, not only from Dad but also a few crazy Italians I have come across in my life and grade 11 home economics class. Risotto is one of those dishes a lot of people are afraid of. You always get the “ON NO RISOTTO” reaction on food challenge T.V shows and I will attest that it is very time-consuming, and when done wrong can be a complete disaster but it is so easy to do right! This dish is the perfect dish to pull your loved ones into the kitchen with a big glass of wine (yes you can drink it, not just put it in the food) and let them be your sous chef.
When I was younger, my dad would ask me to help him stir, and stir, and stir some more. It was fun to watch the broth get absorbed and the rice gets thicker and creamier, but really, the best part was to eat it after it was all cooked. Over the years I have tried countless recipes and different techniques to make risotto, I have finally come up with my own recipe and perfected it to share with you.
A few tips before I start: Make sure the stock is simmering before you add the liquid to the rice. My recipe is for about 4 people with some leftovers or 2 very hungry people with lunch the next day. The rice to liquid ratio is 3:1. I always have extra stock just in case! My last tip, NEVER stop stirring!
Here is how I do it:
4 cups of Stock (I used veggie stock or chicken stock)
1 tbsp Butter
White Onion, chopped
2 (or more) cloves of garlic, minced
Wine (white or red, really whatever you are drinking while you cook)
Mushrooms of your choice
In a pot, bring the stock to a simmer, this is very important because if the stock is not hot before putting the liquid into the rice pan, it will interfere with the proper cooking time. While the pot is coming to a simmer, prepare the onions, garlic, and slice the mushrooms and set them aside. Over a pan over medium heat, melt the butter and cook the onions until they are transparent, and add the garlic and a twig of thyme. Let them cook for a few minutes. Add in your rice, give it a stir and coat the rice with all the yummy goodness.
One ladle at a time, add in the broth. Make sure the broth has absorbed all the broth before adding in the next ladle. In between the ladles, I add a splash of wine. Continue the process until the rice is completely cooked. When it is almost cooked, add the mushrooms and peas. Plate up, and top with arugula and parmesan cheese and Enjoy!