A lot of people are intimidated by risotto. It seems complicated and time consuming, all that stirring. I used to be very intimidated, until I made it a few times and got the hang of it. Now I no longer find it complicated. The bonus aspect is that I absolutely adore risotto. It’s so creamy; perfectly delicious. When I think comfort foods, risotto is on my list. I’ve been making risotto for a few years now and have the technique down. Everyone makes risotto a little differently, but this is my (and my family’s) favorite way.
Risotto with Peas – 4 servings
3½ cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons butter, divided
1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3-4 garlic cloves (depending on size and garlic preference), minced
1 small onion, chopped fairly fine
1 cup Arborio rice
½ cup dry white wine
2/3 cup frozen green peas, thawed
½ grated parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley, optional
Bring chicken broth to a boil in a small saucepan; keep warm over very low heat. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter and olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until soft and translucent, about 6 or 7 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 1 to 2 minutes longer. It’s important not to add the garlic too early; you don’t want it to become overly browned. Add rice and stir to coat. Cook 2 minutes to toast the rice. Add the wine and stir until all the wine is absorbed, 1 to 2 minutes. Ladle in ¾ cup warmed broth and stir. Lower heat to medium-low, and stir often, until the broth is absorbed. This takes about 6-8 minutes. Continue adding broth, ¾ cup at a time, making sure that all the broth is absorbed before adding in more. This should take between 25-35 minutes.
When almost all of the last bit of broth is absorbed, stir in peas and continue cooking until all the broth is absorbed and the peas are cooked through. Stir in remaining tablespoon of butter, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and parsley (if using). Taste and adjust seasons accordingly. Serve immediately with additional cheese if desired.
Note: Risotto is one of those great dishes that you can add just about anything too. The trick is to cook whatever you’re adding in separately, and then toss with the risotto at the end as not to overcook it. My family enjoys adding sautéed mushrooms and/or asparagus to our risotto.