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Sauce pot and ladle for heated stock, Wide shallow sauté pan (Le Creuset) or any dutch oven, wooden spoon
Risotto is a staple in Northern Italy and is my ultimate comfort food. I’ve been eating it longer than I can remember and in fact, it is the very first dish my Dad taught me to make. He was lucky to learn straight from the source at a trattoria in Milan many years ago. As the story goes, he had just finished eating his lunch when the school bells rang and the place became flooded with small children in matching uniforms. It was during this time that he was able to get the chef’s attention, and soon enough, was getting his very own risotto lesson. The language barrier wasn’t a problem, as we all know the Italians speak with their hands! This isn’t a “throw it in a pot and walk away” type of dish. The technique for making it is very simple, yet your attention is required in order to make it just right. Arborio or Carnaroli rice is the most important ingredient — as these are very starchy, short grain varieties. Stirring and adding broth little by little not only aids in even cooking, but helps to release the starches from the rice kernel, creating the creamy texture that makes risotto such an amazing dish.
My Dad usually makes this same risotto with the occasional addition of peas and pancetta — simple but freakin delicious! Add an egg on top and you have yourself Carbonara risotto! Once you have it down you will find there are many variations to switch things up: adding vegetable purees or even whipped cream to make it more creamy. I’d love to hear some of your creative variations!