Rich, creamy, and intricate, the classic risotto is an exquisite dish that requires only a handful of simple ingredients to transform into a luxurious meal. In this most basic version, the dish is completed with just the right amount of butter and Parmigiano-Reggiano, adding a lavish creaminess while allowing the rice's flavor and texture to take center stage. Although delightful, this dish can be a blank canvas for culinary creativity.For quick and effortless enhancements, consider stirring in 1 cup of frozen peas or 1 pound of cleaned shrimp during the last few minutes of cooking. Alternatively, you can elevate the risotto by topping it with your choice of cooked seasonal vegetables.
- 4 ½ cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup minced shallot from 1 medium shallot
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 cup arborio or carnaroli rice
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- ¼ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano plus more for garnish
- Bring the broth to a simmer over medium heat in a medium saucepan, then reduce the heat to its lowest setting to keep it warm.
- Heat the oil over medium heat in a large Dutch oven. Add the shallot and cook, stirring occasionally, until it becomes softened but not browned, which should take about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and stir until it becomes fragrant, typically around 30 seconds. Add the rice and stir until it's evenly coated in the oil, which should take approximately 1 minute.
- Introduce the wine to the rice and increase the heat to medium-high. Cook, while stirring, until all the liquid is absorbed into the rice, which usually takes about 1 minute.
- Gradually add ½ cup of the hot broth and briskly simmer, stirring frequently, until almost all of the liquid has been absorbed usually around 2 minutes. Repeat this process, adding ½ cup of broth at a time and stirring until all the liquid is absorbed before each new addition of broth. Continue to cook until the rice reaches the desired al dente consistency, and the risotto has a creamy and saucy texture, typically around 18 minutes in total. (If you need more liquid because you've run out of hot broth, use hot water as a substitute.)
- Turn off the heat. Stir in the butter and cheese, and season the mixture with salt to taste. Divide the risotto among four shallow bowls and garnish each portion with additional cheese. Serve promptly.