I think the title and this photo are all I need to introduce this post!
Years ago, when I was living in Munich, one of my closest friends came to visit me with her then boyfriend (he is now her spouse). He showed me how to make risotto! I am forever indebted to him for teaching me how to make this utterly wonderful comfort food! Also, the leftovers can be used the next day to make arancini (find my recipe here).
If you want to give making this a shot, here’s what you will need:
A frying pan
A heavy-bottomed saucepan or a dutch oven
A pot in which to warm up your stock
A cutting board and knife
A grater or a blender/food processor to grate hard cheese
3 handfuls of wild mushrooms, chopped
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 stick of unsalted butter (8 tablespoons)
1 medium or half a large white onion, diced (or approximately 175g of diced white onion)
1 cup of carnaroli or vialone nano rice (if you can’t find either, you can use Arborio rice)
Approximately 1 cup of wine (preferably, not a terrible one, but rather something you enjoy drinking; an acidic and fruity white would be ideal, but I would avoid an oaked wine) (you could use red wine, but it will lend a somewhat brownish hue to your risotto that some might find unappealing)
1 litre of stock (also, set aside some hot water in a kettle or simmering in a pot)
Grana Padano, Pecorino, or Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
A few drops of truffle-infused oil (make sure it’s infused with genuine truffles) (this step is optional)
A few sprigs of dried rosemary or sage (optional)
1. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan and sauté the mushrooms in it. Once they’re done, set them aside.
2. Add the butter to a heavy-bottomed saucepan or dutch oven. Melt it and then add the onions to it. Let the onions cook until they are softened and become translucent. Do not let them brown.
3. Add the risotto rice to the pot and toss it about until it is completely covered in butter.
4. Now add the white wine to the pan and again toss everything around such that the rice-onion mixture is completely covered in wine.
5. After glazing the onion-rice mix with wine and once most of the wine has evaporated, add in one ladle-full of stock. Stir. Once most of the liquid evaporates, add another ladle or two of stock until the rice is completely drowned in it.
6. Again, stir and let the liquid cook off. Keep repeating this until a lot of the starch has released from the rice and the rice has softened, but still has its structure. (If you run out of stock, just use some of the hot water you have set aside.) Keep tasting the rice and stop cooking it at the point when it tastes/feels right to you. See the photo below for a sense of what it should look like.
6. Once the rice is done, make sure all the excess liquid has evaporated and turn off the heat. Add in the sautéed mushrooms and stir.
7. Add in the grated cheese. At this stage, you can also add in a few drops of truffle-infused oil. Stir it all together one final time. Serve the risotto in a bowl or plate, top it off with some more grated cheese and dried rosemary (optional), and enjoy!