Posted by: Maggie
Is it weird that I remember the first time I tried risotto?
Annie and I had gone into NYC together back in early 2008 to have lunch and see the Legally Blonde musical (don't judge, it was amazing.)
We decided to go to Lidia Bastianich's restaurant Becco, since they had this awesome lunch special where you get salad and three different kinds of pasta, all of which were unlimited and served tableside. I know I'm making it sound like a fancy Olive Garden with that description, but really, would there be anything wrong with a fancy Olive Garden? Say what you will about the OG - those breadsticks are the shit. (Pardon my salty pirate mouth, there's really no better descriptor here.)
Anyway, my Olive Garden fantasies are not the point of this story.
The point is, one of the three pastas that day wasn't actually pasta - it was risotto. I couldn't tell you what else Annie and I ate that day, but I still remember my first creamy, parmesan-filled bite. To be fair, the reason that I may have forgotten the other pastas that I ate is probably less attributed to the fact that they were unmemorable, and more attributed to the fact that Annie and I each enjoyed several cocktails upon discovering that they had no plans of carding her then 20-year-old self. Fun times.
Risotto has an undeserved reputation of being difficult to make. It's actually quite simple, as long as you're okay with a recipe that is hands-on for a solid 20-25 minutes of stirring.
Here's what you'll need:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 large yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups Arborio rice, uncooked
8 sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained and minced
1 cup dry white wine (I used Pinot Grigio)
6-8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cup finely shredded parmesan cheese
1/4 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper, to taste
Fresh basil for garnish
In a large saucepan, heat up broth. Keep warmed on low heat throughout entire cooking process.
In a large saute pan, heat butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and cook for 3 minutes. Add in dry Arborio rice. Stir to coat rice thoroughly, and cook for 3 minutes.
Turn heat to medium-low and pour in wine. Cook for a couple minutes until the wine is mostly absorbed. Add in sun-dried tomatoes and stir.
Begin adding the broth 1 cup at a time, stirring continuously, allowing the rice to absorb each cup before adding the next. Repeat until the rice is creamy and fully cooked. It should still have a bit of a bite to it and not be mushy - this takes about 6-8 cups of wine, and roughly 20-25 minutes.
Remove from heat, and stir in parmesan and heavy cream. Salt and pepper to taste, and garnish with basil. Serve immediately.
Source: Adapted from The Pioneer Woman