I can finally tick off learning how to make risotto on my bucket list.
I will confess this upfront: I cannot boil rice. I’ve never been able to get the consistency right, it either comes out gluey or it tastes like water – the point is, when I cook rice, it generally tastes terrible. Needless to say, I stay away from it, or I get someone else to do it. But, it turns out that I’m actually quite good at making risotto, thanks to the boyfriend. Gasp! I was surprised, firstly because it seemed like such a complex dish and I was a bit intimidated, and secondly because it’s a rice dish.
Versatility in a dish is important to me, because I am lazy. I like dishes that I can do in a million different ways as long as I have perfected the basics. Risotto is one of those.
We made pea and Parmesan risotto.
Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Cooking time: 20-25 minutes
Serves: 2 portions
Skill level: 3
- 500 – 750 ml of veggie stock
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- 1 large onion
- 1 teaspoon of crushed garlic
- ½ cup of grated parmesan cheese
- 1 cup of peas (frozen or fresh)
- 1/2 glass of white wine
- 130 g of risotto rice – I like to use Tastic Risotto rice
- Smoked paprika, black pepper and salt to taste
- Prepare the stock in small pot and keep it simmering
- Finely chop the onion and grate the parmesan cheese
- In a pan, melt the butter over low heat and add in the onion and garlic. Fry gently until soft
- Add in the rice – keep the heat low so that the rice doesn’t cook too quickly. The secret to great risotto is to keep stirring. After about a minute or so add in your first ladle of hot stock.
- Keep stirring and give the pan a shake every now and then. Keep adding ladles of stock, but allow each to be absorbed by the rice before adding the next.
- Add in the wine midway and as with the stock, allow the rice to absorb it.
- The rice should be cooked within 15-20 minutes, but it can take longer. The rice should be soft, but still have a bite to it. If you run out of stock before it’s cooked, you can add in boiling water.
- Add in the peas. If frozen, place in boiling water when you start cooking – this way it’s thawed by the time you add it in. Stir through the rice.
- Add in most of the parmesan cheese and stir in. Keep some for garnishing.
- Add in smoked paprika, black pepper and salt to taste.
- Cover pan and let it sit for about two minutes.
- Remove from heat and eat as soon as possible to retain the perfect consistency.
It’s a great arm workout and you are rewarded with delicious risotto.
You can substitute the peas and Parmesan cheese with almost anything. Enjoy with a glass of red wine or my personal favourite a glass of bubbly.