Author Notes: Risotto’s unique preparation and flavour make it one of the most distinct rice dishes around, usually compared to its country of origin’s more popular meal of choice: pasta. Creamy consistency, cooked meats and buttery flavours make this a truly rich and complex dish, but Northern Italy’s take on rice does require a little extra care and attention. With plenty of recipes out there, you might want to have a browse through HelloFresh’s range of recipes to find your favourite.
Unlike other rice dishes you’ll make, risotto needs a careful eye and constant moderation to ensure it comes out just right. If you’re a sucker for a tasty risotto, here’s the top tips for making it look just as good as the Italians make it.
Keeping it temperate
Temperature is very important when cooking risotto, and it requires adjustments throughout the process, this means watching what ingredients you add and how its stirred. Make sure, when adding stock that its warm enough to not affect the heat of the rice’s pan. Adding a cold stock will cool everything down and mess up the process.
Stirring the rice just right
With risotto, the starch is a vital part of the recipe, as it gives it the sticky, gluey texture we love. In saying this, ensure you are stirring the rice to agitate and rub the rice together, releasing the starch into the recipe. Stir often and pay attention to how it looks.
Watch the stock you add
The purpose of liquids isn’t to just cook the rice, but give the rice a chance to bump into each other and cause the release of the starch we need. Adding an abundance of stock all at once won’t help give you that soft, creamy texture, so work it in slowly and bit by bit.
Cook your veggies prior
All of our vegetables should be ready to add into your rice once they’re cooked. The slow cooking time is for the rice and not your vegetables, so make sure you’re preparing your vegetables and extras in a separate pan while you’re watching the rice.
Save the cheese for last
We all get excited by cheesy layers but adding the cheese too early will cause the fat in it to break down. This will leave your risotto looking greasy and won’t help with that creamy flavour at all. Instead, wait for the rice to finish cooking before stirring in your cheese. You can then grate some extra on top.
Ready to try mastering risotto for yourself? Take a look at Hello Fresh’s recipe for a creamy, rich mushroom risotto. You’re sure to want a second helping. —Veselina Dzhingarova