Basic Risotto is much easier to make than most people think. If you watch episodes of Hell’s Kitchen, you’ll see Gordon Ramsay constantly yelling at the show contestants for messing it up, but in reality (not reality TV), don’t let that scare you. It’s really not that bad. The main thing you want to remember is to stir, stir, stir. Just make sure plant yourself in front of the burner and keep stirring. That will prevent the rice from sticking to the pan as your liquid is absorbed and allow for a constant flow of movement, so all of the rice cooks evenly.
This risotto recipe features saffron; however, if you don’t have any saffron or can’t get it easily, don’t fret! Just omit the saffron and your risotto will still be delicious. It will just be less yellow in color.
I have been making this risotto recipe the same way since high school when my father showed me how. It is one of my favorite recipes to cook for family and friends. I tend to serve it with various versions of chicken (breaded, roasted, scampi, picatta, Marsala, Madeira, etc.) but you can also enjoy with pork, beef or fish – whatever you prefer.
To learn how to prepare this Basic Risotto Recipe, watch the recipe video below:
- 3 (14.5 oz.) cans less-sodium, fat free chicken broth
- ½ teaspoon saffron strands
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ cup minced onion
- 1½ cups Arborio rice (do not rinse)
- ½ cup white wine (Pinot Grigio preferably)
- ¼ cup grated or shredded Pecorino Romano cheese
- ¼ cup grated or shredded Parmesan cheese
- Warm chicken broth in a pot and sprinkle in saffron strands.
- Heat butter and olive oil in a wide pan until butter is melted.
- Add the onion and cook over medium heat until it becomes translucent, about 2 minutes.
- Add the rice and stir until it is well coated.
- Add one ladleful (approximately ¼ cup) of broth and stir.
- When broth is absorbed, add the wine and stir.
- Once wine is absorbed, add broth one ladleful at a time, adding more broth as it is absorbed, stirring consistently. Continue this process until rice is just tender and has a creamy consistency (will take about 20-25 minutes from this point).
- Once the rice is creamy and you have used all or most of your broth (you might not need it all), stir in both cheeses and remove from heat.
- Garnish and serve.