A creamy risotto requires lots of attention as well as time, but it is so worth it!
- 1/2 medium onion, very finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, smashed
- 4 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 1 cup arborio rice (this is a specific kind of rice, do not substitute)
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1 quart hot low-salt canned (or boxed liquid) chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 small package of saffron threads (equivalent to a quarter teaspoon)
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan, preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Parsley for garnish
- liquid measuring cup
- ladle or small measuring cup
- large spoon
- measuring cups and spoons
- sharp knife
- Heat the chicken (or vegetable) broth in the medium saucepan until very hot but not boiling (3-4 minutes).
- In a separate saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add garlic, chopped onion, and saffron, then saute slowly in butter until the onion is slightly translucent.
- Add the rice to the saucepan and stir it briskly with a large spoon so that the rice are coated with melted butter.
- Add the wine and cook while stirring, until it is nearly evaporated.
- Add ~1/4 cup amounts of hot chicken broth to the rice and stir constantly until the liquid is fully absorbed. Add the next amount of broth when the rice appears almost dry and repeat the process until the broth runs out. It is important to stir constantly, especially while the hot broth gets absorbed, so that the rice cooks through without getting too soft.
- Remove the pan from the heat when the rice is creamy and thick. Do not overcook. The rice should still be wet enough to flow like lava.
- Add parmesan cheese, spinach and salt and pepper to taste.
Here is the video of the outcome of our risotto! 💕
1. When the stock (which is mostly water) gets absorbed, where is it going? What is chemically happening?
The broth is being absorbed by the rice, which means the water is being trapped between the starch molecules of the rice, and hydrogen bonding to the starch chains. Eventually, the starch absorbs enough water and swell up to form gel.
2. When the rice gets “creamy and thick” you can see a thick opaque liquid surrounding the rice. What is that thick liquid made of?
The thick opaque liquid surrounding the rice when the rice gets creamy and thick is made of the starch from rice mixing with the liquid (chicken broth) due to the constant stirring.
3. Can you make risotto like this with a high amylose, long-grain rice?
A high amylose, long-grain rice such as Carnaroli is the best for making risotto since it has more amylose present to create a thicker and creamier sauce. The more amylose is in the rice, the better the gel will be.
4. We added spinach to your risotto. In addition to the bright green color, what are some nutritional advantages of adding spinach?
Spinach is low in calories but packed with a lot of nutrients such as vitamin C, folate, niacin, riboflavin, and potassium which are essential for our diet.