Risotto is an Italian rice like no other. It is cooked in broth and the starches of the rice blend with the liquid making the rice taste like it is in a rich creamy sauce. Using risotto, sometimes called Arborio rice, as a side dish instead of the usual pasta or rice with dinner is a great way to take your dinner from boring to BAM: a BA Meal. I like to serve this with chicken, mushrooms, or a variety of roasted vegetables.
I have made risotto often, but in this recipe, it is the first time I’ve used saffron. I received the spice as a Christmas gift and was super excited to try it out in my risotto. I’m not sure if the saffron gives it a different taste or if I am just imagining it tasted a little different; perhaps the saffron was just overpowered by the chicken broth I used. Nevertheless, the spice did give this dish a nice rich yellow color. In conclusion, the spice is completely optional, so if you don’t have any fancy-smancy saffron lying around, omit it, no biggie. Also, feel free to experiment with adding other spices such as basil or oregano.
Making risotto does take a bit more attention than making rice or boiling pasta but is totally worth it. You just have to brown an onion in olive oil first, than toast the grains for a few minutes. Then just add wine and broth 1/2 cup at a time until it tastes good enough to eat!
- 1 cup uncooked Arborio rice
- 3-4½ cups broth
- ½ cup white wine
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- ½ tsp saffron (optional)
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese (optional)
- Dice onion, mince garlic, and saute on medium high heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Add rice and stir for 2-3 minutes.
- Microwave wine and saffron 1 minute then add to rice. Turn heat to medium low heat and stir slowly until all liquid is absorbed.
- Add ½ cup of broth at a time, letting it absorb fully before adding more. Continue to stir slowly.
- After 3 cups of broth have been added, taste Risotto. It should be aldente. You may want to add more broth, or water depending on how done you want it to taste.
- Mix in cheese, saving some to sprinkle on top.
- Serve immediately when done, or it will loose creaminess.