( canned or homemade)
( available in many supermarkets or specialty food stores)
salt and pepper, to taste
freshly grated parmesan cheese
- PREPARING THE RICE.
- Peel and finely chop the onion.
- Melt the butter in a 4-to-5-quart saucepan over medium heat, stirring regularly.
- Add the onion and cook, continuing to stir, until it turns soft and translucent.
- Turn the heat down if the onion starts to brown.
- Meanwhile, pour the chicken broth into a separate saucepan, set over medium heat, and bring to a gentle simmer.
- Adjust the heat as needed to maintain this simmer the whole time you are preparing the risotto.
- Once the onion is soft, add the rice and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for about 3 minutes.
- Adjust the heat as necessary-- if the rice is cooked at too high a heat, it will turn brown and take on an undesirable flavor.
- ADDING THE LIQUID TO THE RICE.
- Using a ladle, scoop up about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of broth.
- Pour it in the pan with the rice, stirring constantly with a spoon.
- After the first addition of broth, the rice mixture will look a bit soupy.
- As the rice begins to cook, stir it constantly, making sure that you scrape along the bottom of the pan so that it does not stick.
- You should see little bubbles popping up on the liquid from time to time.
- If it bubbles more vigorously than this, turn the heat down to medium-low.
- When most of the liquid is absorbed into the rice and the rice begins to look a bit dry, add another ladle of broth to the pan and stir constantly, as before.
- DETERMINING WHEN THE RISOTTO IS COOKED.
- Continue to add the broth in 1/2-to-3/4-cup batches and stir the rice until you have used most of the broth (this will probably take about 20 minutes).
- It is now time to test whether the risotto is cooked.
- Spoon up a grain of rice and bite into it-- it should be tender without being too mushy.
- If it is still crunchy and tastes a bit starchy, you will need to continue adding liquid and cooking further.
- If it looks as if you will run out of chicken broth and your rice is still not cooked, don't be alarmed.
- Because of variations in individual stoves and cooking temperatures, you may need more liquid than called for in the recipe.
- Simply heat up another cup or 2 of chicken broth.
- If you run out of broth, use hot water.
- When the rice is tender and the risotto has a creamy consistency, almost like thick oatmeal, it is done.
- SERVING THE RISOTTO.
- Add salt and pepper to the risotto, about 1/4 teaspoon at a time, until it seems well seasoned to you.
- Add the grated Parmesan cheese and stir well.
- Serve the risotto immediately in warm bowls and have extra grated Parmesan on hand.