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What is Risotto?

What is Risotto?

We often hear the question, “What is risotto”? and a recipe for Easy Venetian Risotto with Asparagus tips, Shitake Mushrooms and Pecorino Romano


Dear Rita: I thought I’d try making a risotto but was curious as to what type of rice to buy. Is Risotto the rice or the dish? What is risotto?

My local supermarket only has 3 types of rice. One rice seems to be for puddings, a medium length rice for curries & a long rice. So my question is, does it really matter what type of rice i use & if so what is the name of it? I can always try the market in town if the supermarket doesn`t stock it. From a visitor of Rita’s YouTube Channel

Rita Says: We often get the question, “What is Risotto”? Risotto rice is a short grain starchy rice. It’s usually labeled Arborio. Aborio is what you want to buy so that when you cook it, some of the starch comes out of the rice, making for a creamy dish.  I made this risotto dish in class and everyone loved it – and it certainly takes a bit less time and effort than the traditional risotto.

What is Risotto?

What is Risotto?

Not a traditional risotto in the sense that you have to stand over the rice and stir it constantly as it absorbs liquid, which you add little by little. This recipe allows you to be a guest at your own party. The trick is to cook it to a point where it’s tender but not mushy, nice and creamy, with still a bit of al dente bite to the rice.

I’ve been asked if the risotto recipe would work just as well with veggie stock as a vegetarian easy risotto. Sure – I made it that way the first time and then adapted.  I’ve also made it dairy free with soy cheese, etc.

Easy Venetian Risotto Recipe with Asparagus tips, Shitake Mushrooms and Pecorino Romano

1lb shitake mushrooms, stems removed, tops chopped coarsely (or use whatever mushrooms you like, or even leave them out)
1lb asparagus, cut into 1/2# or so pieces on diagonal (leave tips whole) and sauteed in a bit of olive oil (can be done ahead)
1/3 cup olive oil
1 cup finely chopped shallot (if the shallot is real strong, use less)
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
2 cups Arborio rice
4 cups chicken broth (or veggie)
1 cup dry white wine (or use all broth)
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) butter
2 cups grated Pecorino Romano plus extra for garnish (can also use Parmesano)
Chopped parsley – about a cup for color
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in pan over medium heat. Add shallot and garlic and sweat until shallot starts to turn translucent. Add risotto rice, stirring the grains to coat with oil. Cook a minute or so, then add mushrooms, stirring to coat (add a bit more oil if you need to). Add broth and wine.  Raise heat to medium-high and as soon as it comes to a gentle boil, lower to a simmer. Stir; reduce heat to low and cove. Cook 20 minutes or a little longer, stirring after the first 10 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in butter, cheese and parsley. Adjust salt and pepper; serve with a sprinkling of cheese. Serves 8-12.

What is risotto?

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