Want to know about the most popular rice dish of Italy? Find out how you can try your hands at making a basic risotto dish to tantalize your taste buds.
Although pasta is considered to be Italy’s favorite food in Northern Italy rice more or less takes its place. Risotto is the name of the one of the most popular rice dishes to have originated out of the Northern areas of Italy. There are many variations to this dish which have developed over the years. Hence the flavors and other additions are all up to the individual who is going to be making it. Making a basic risotto dish is quick and easy hence it serves as an ideal dish to make during a busy day. Alternatively you can serve it as an accompaniment to a main dish such as great veal.
Starting off with risotto
Cooking risotto is a gentle process and requires the cook to simmer the rice rather than boil it. You can start off by heating a little olive oil or butter in a frying pan. Traditionally the Italians use olive oil but butter too can be used as an alternative or together with the olive oil. Once the oil is heated throw in half a chopped onion and sauté it until it turns golden and color and soft. The next step is to add the rice. 4oz of rice per person should suffice if this is going to be your main dish and lesser if a side dish. The rice should be sautéd for a few minutes while having a healthy coat of oil on them.
On the other hand you have to prepare around 3 o 5 cups of broth. Bullion cubes work just fine but try and get porcini mushroom bullion cubes. The broth whether home made or canned is added slowly to the rice. The aim is to keep the rice wet but avoid drowning it. Add the next addition of liquid when you see the rice to have absorbed the first one. You will be required to have patience and keep stirring to simmer the rice. Make sure the rice doesn’t stick to the pan but keep it hot enough so as to be able to hear the steam when pouring the broth.
You will start to add the final ingredients when you feel the rice is almost ready. Saffron and parmesan cheese make a good addition to the risotto and it should be left to set for a few minutes. Adding some oil or butter at this stage is an idea much loved by the Italians because it helps to make the dish creamier. You can make all the additions you want during the time you add the cheese. Some simple additions can do wonders for your risotto dish. Spinach is one ingredient that gives your risotto dish an additional dimension of taste. Asparagus is also a popular addition to the dish and so is cooked shrimp and chicken. If your risotto dish doesn’t turn out to be super at the first try the key to mastering it is to keep on trying again. This basic and filling dish is an evergreen item from the Italian cuisine which can be made in many varieties to please your taste buds.