Golden rules to prepare the true Italian Risotto

Foods & DrinksCooking Tips & Recipes

  • Author Giorgio Venturelli
  • Published August 27, 2014
  • Word count 522

Risotto is one of the most famous Italian dishes and belongs to the culinary tradition of the northern regions of the “Bel Paese”. Whatever type of risotto you prepare, there are some basic rules you must follow if you want to prepare a creamy perfect Italian rise. In this article, I explain how to make risotto as a real Italian chef.

Risotto is one of the most famous Italian dishes and belongs to the culinary tradition of the Italian northern regions since Medio Evo when the rise started to be cultivated in an extensive way, in particular, in the Area of Vercelli and Pavia. If you have the opportunity of traveling across these areas during spring, you can see expanses of rice paddies completely submerged by water. In such areas, you can find the most precious quality of rice: Carnaroli.

It is not surprising that cooking risotto has become during centuries an art with its secrets and rules that must be respected. In particular, the initial and the final phases are the most crucial. Without a correct tostatura (roasting) and and mantecatura (creaming), Risotto will never be served in an Italian restaurant. Regardless of the type of risotto, you intend to cook (allo zafferano, al Castelmagno o ai tartufi) it is mandatory to follow some simple procedures.

Tostatura. Rise must be roasted in a large pan over high heat just for a couple of minutes always mixing with a wooden spoon. A good roasting closes the pores and preserves rice from overcooking and maintain the compactness of the grains. Often rise is toasted by adding it directly to the soffritto. Since soffritto needs to be stewed, my suggestion is that you toast the rise prior to adding it to the soffritto.

Broth. In the preparation of risotto, the cooking liquid is an important element. To get a good risotto, you should use a broth prepared in the traditional way, but you can get good results also using the prepared broth commercially available. Depending on the type of risotto you need to use the following type of broth:

  1. Meat broth (ideal for risotto alla Milanese, o al parmigiano reggiano);

  2. Vegetable broth (ideal for risotto with vegetables but you can use it with any type of risotto);

  3. Fish broth (ideal for risotto with fishes or sea foods).

Slowly pour the broth until the rise is cooked.

Mantecatura. The rice is almost ready: cooked “al dente”. It is time to give the last touch. Remove from heat and add a piece of butter and extravergin olive oil. Depending on the type of risotto, you can also add Parmigiano Reggiano. Mix everything gently and cover and let him rest for a few minutes. The mantecatura makes the risotto creamy and shining. Serve it warm as soon as prepared.

The overall procedure generally lasts for 20 minutes.

To speed up and facilitate the cooking of risotto, there are risotto packages commercially available containing rise and ingredients for the dressing. It is important that you choose the best ones on the market otherwise the risotto will be terrible.

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Giorgio and his wife Patrizia run a family business in Piedmont (Ivrea). The aim of this activity is to acquaint with UK and Europe people a hidden corner of Italy also through local artisan food.

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