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This basic risotto recipe is delicious, creamy and easy to make and features two types of cheese, Parmesan and Pecorino Romano.
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 keep adding broth and 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.
Ingredients Needed to Make Basic Risotto
In order to make this risotto, you’ll need the following:
- Arborio Rice
- Chicken Broth (use vegetable broth for vegetarian option)
- Dry White Wine
- Olive Oil
- Pecorino Romano Cheese (use vegetarian-friendly or omit for vegetarian option)
- Parmesan Cheese (use vegetarian-friendly for vegetarian option)
- Kosher Salt
What is Saffron?
Saffron is a spice derived from the saffron crocus flower. Since the crocus only blooms for a short time each year and each flower only yields a small amount, saffron production is limited. Therefore, it can be a bit pricey. With that being said, it’s not entirely necessary in order to make risotto. So if you don’t have saffron or can’t easily find it, don’t fret! Just omit the saffron and your risotto will still be delicious. The final dish will just be less yellow in color.
Is This Risotto Recipe Gluten-Free?
Arborio rice is naturally gluten-free, so as long as you ensure you are using gluten-free broth, this risotto is gluten-free.
What to serve with Basic Risotto
This risotto can be served as a first course with an Italian dinner. It can also be served as a side with a protein such as osso buco, baked or grilled chicken, steak or broiled fish. If you are vegetarian, you can serve it alongside tempeh, tofu or your favorite vegetarian protein.
Watch the video below to see how easy this risotto really is to make!
Looking for more risotto? Try these recipes next:
Basic Risotto Recipe
- 3 (14.5 oz.) cans gluten-free, less-sodium, fat free chicken broth *See notes below for vegetarian option
- 1/2 teaspoon saffron strands (broken up into smaller pieces with your fingers)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup minced onion
- 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice (do not rinse)
- 1/2 cup white wine (preferably Pinot Grigio)
- 1/4 cup grated or shredded Pecorino Romano cheese *see notes below for vegetarian option
- 1/4 cup grated or shredded Parmesan cheese *see notes below for vegetarian option
- Kosher salt to taste
- Warm chicken broth in a pot and sprinkle in saffron.
- 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 1/4 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 cheese and remove from heat.
- Add kosher salt to taste if desired.
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