Italy – Risotto – Recipe (Traditional)


Enjoy your award-winning, authentic Italian Risotto that brings the essence of Italian cuisine right to your table!


Risotto is a classic Italian dish renowned for its creamy texture, rich flavors, and versatility. Originating in northern Italy, particularly in the regions of Lombardy and Piedmont, risotto has become a beloved staple in Italian cuisine and beyond.

Key Elements:

  • Arborio Rice (or Carnaroli):
    • The foundation of risotto is a short-grain rice variety such as Arborio or Carnaroli, known for its high starch content. This starch is essential for creating the creamy texture characteristic of risotto.
  • Broth:
    • Risotto is cooked slowly by gradually adding hot broth (such as chicken or vegetable broth) to the rice. The broth is absorbed gradually, releasing starch from the rice grains and creating a creamy consistency without the addition of cream.
  • Parmesan Cheese:
    • Parmesan cheese, grated finely, is often added towards the end of cooking to enhance the creaminess and add a nutty flavor to the risotto.
  • Onions, Butter, and Olive Oil:
    • Onions or shallots are typically sautéed in butter and olive oil as the base for risotto. This creates a flavorful foundation before adding the rice.
  • Wine:
    • Dry white wine is often used to deglaze the pan after sautéing the onions and before adding the rice. It adds acidity and depth of flavor to the dish.


  1. Sautéing:
    • Onions or shallots are finely chopped and sautéed in butter and olive oil until translucent. This step builds a savory base of flavors for the risotto.
  2. Toasting the Rice:
    • Arborio or Carnaroli rice is added to the sautéed onions and toasted briefly until the edges of the grains become translucent. This toasting step helps the rice absorb flavors while retaining its shape.
  3. Deglazing:
    • White wine is added to the rice and cooked until absorbed, adding brightness and complexity to the dish.
  4. Cooking the Risotto:
    • Hot broth is added to the rice gradually, one ladleful at a time, stirring constantly over medium heat. Each addition of broth is absorbed before adding the next, allowing the rice to release its starch slowly and develop a creamy texture.
  5. Final Touches:
    • Towards the end of cooking, when the rice is al dente and creamy, grated Parmesan cheese and sometimes a knob of butter are stirred into the risotto to enrich its flavor and texture.
  6. Resting and Serving:
    • Risotto is rested briefly off the heat before serving. It should have a creamy, slightly loose consistency (not stiff) known as all’onda, meaning “wavy” in Italian.

Culinary Experience:

  • Creamy Texture: Risotto is prized for its luxurious, creamy texture achieved without the addition of cream, relying solely on the starch released from the rice grains during cooking.
  • Flavor Versatility: While traditional risotto is often flavored simply with Parmesan cheese, variations abound, incorporating ingredients such as mushrooms, seafood, vegetables (like asparagus or peas), saffron, or meats (such as sausage or chicken).

Cultural Significance:

  • Italian Heritage: Risotto is deeply rooted in Italian culinary tradition, showcasing the craftsmanship of Italian rice growers and the rich agricultural regions of northern Italy.
  • Celebratory Dish: It is served on special occasions and holidays in Italy, highlighting its status as a dish for celebration and communal gatherings.

Risotto exemplifies the art of Italian cooking, combining simple ingredients with meticulous technique to create a dish that is both comforting and elegant. Whether enjoyed as a primi (first course) or as a main dish, risotto offers a taste of Italian culinary heritage and a testament to the mastery of balancing flavors and textures.


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