This is probably one of my favourite Italian meals. Risotto is a typical Italian dish made with short-grained rice known as arborio rice. Liquid is gradually added to the rice during the cooking process to form a thick, creamy mixture. What is great about risotto is the versatility – it can be flavoured simply with saffron strands or you can go all out with spices and different ingredients. It can also be a vegetarian dish or you can choose to add meat to the meal. Serve as a side dish, light meal or for your weeknight supper.
From The AMC Book
2 medium onions, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
250 g mushrooms, halved and thinly sliced
1,25 – 1,5 litres chicken or vegetable stock
300 g (375 ml) arborio rice
250 ml dry white wine or chicken stock
30 g (60 ml) Parmesan cheese, finely grated
125 ml cream
15 ml fresh, chopped or 5 ml dried thyme
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Heat an AMC 24 cm Gourmet Roaster over medium temperature until Visiotherm® reaches first red area.
- Sauté onions, garlic and mushrooms until tender and most of the mushroom liquid has evaporated. Keep stock just below boiling point, over a low heat, in AMC 20 cm Gourmet High.
- Add rice to onion mixture and sauté for 2 - 3 minute before adding 250 ml wine or extra stock. Stir and allow rice to absorb liquid.
- Add two soup ladles of warm stock at a time, stir and allow rice to absorb liquid before adding more. Keep unit over a medium temperature. Continue the process in this way.
- The rice should be cooked in about 25 - 30 minutes. Stir gently but not too much as the rice will become stodgy.
- Add stock until rice is cooked and reduce heat. Add cheese, cream and thyme, and season to taste. Serve immediately with Parmesan cheese shavings, drizzle risotto with a little olive oil and season with black pepper.
- Substitute mushrooms with, or add asparagus, peas or peppers. Other ingredients such as fried bacon, cooked chicken or seafood with dill can be used to flavour the risotto. Season with herbs, spices, and lemon juice to taste.
- Saffron is often used as one of the important ingredients to flavour a risotto. Soak the saffron in a little water to extract the colour and flavour and add with stock to rice. Peas are often added to this version right at the end of the cooking process. Serve saffron risotto as above with the Parmesan, olive oil and pepper.
- Use white rice if arborio rice is not available. The end result will not be exactly the same, as white rice does not give the same creamy texture, but it is possible to prepare white rice with this method.