Risotto, a Tuscan favourite!

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A traditional Tuscan dish
A traditional Tuscan dish

One of the many, many famous Italian dishes that people are dying to try out when in Italy, is Risotto. A rice based dish, a risotto has several varieties depending on where in Italy you are. Have no doubt though, each and every variety of risotto is going to be delicious and better than anything you could have imagined! Here’s one risotto recipe we thought of sharing with you, it is Risotto di base. A basic risotto, once you’ve got this recipe mastered you can add things to it and make it your own speciality!

Risotto di Base

Basic risotto

Serves 4

320 g Arborio rice

1 white onion, small

2 tbs butter

200 g parmesan

2-3 L boiling beef/other stock

1cup dry white wine

3 tbs olive oil

Thinly slice the onion and sauté in the oil with 1 tbs of butter. It is at this point that you would add any of the vegetables or meat such as pancetta to the saucepan, with the onion. After around 5-6 minutes as soon as the onion is translucent, add the rice, a good pinch of salt and allow to ‘toast’ over a high heat for about 2-4 minutes stirring constantly. The rice will absorb all of the flavours of the vegetables or meat before the actual cooking begins and the rice absorbs the broth. Now, add the white wine and once it evaporates add in the boiling broth a little at a time. It is CRUCIAL that the broth is added when it is boiling or very hot otherwise the rice will become ‘gluggy’. Stir occasionally making sure that the rice never becomes too dry. Continue to gradually add small amounts of the boiled broth allowing each addition to be absorbed before adding the next. Stir it from time to time, keeping the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Use a medium heat and cook slowly, uncovered. After 15-20 minutes the rice will be cooked. Remove from heat and add the remaining butter, parmesan and stir through the rice well (in Italian ‘mantecare’). Cover and leave to stand 2-4 minutes. Serve hot.