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Oct 5, 2009 03:59 PM

I made a risotto the other night, let me tell you...

I think risotto is kind of an unsung hero of the pasta world probably because it's a little harder to make and takes longer than other pastas. However, the effort to me is really worth it. I made a simple risotto with shallots, porcinis, veal stock, white wine and pecorino cheese and you could have eaten it until you were ill. It's a versatile ingredient and I was wondering what favorite adds others have for risotto?

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  1. Rice is not pasta.

    I like all types of risotto but this time of the year butternut squash puree makes for a nice addition.

    1. I'm intrigued- what kind of starch did you use in your risotto? Were the porcinis fresh or dried? Sounds delicious!

      8 Replies
      1. re: 4Snisl

        The porcinis were dried and I add the rehydrating water to the risotto.

        1. re: 4Snisl

          I'm intrigued- what kind of starch did you use in your risotto?

          Barley makes a nice twist for Risotto. I also see many recipes using California Pearl Rice, which I have no idea what that is......I always use vegetables of the season with chicken stock.....asparagus and mushrooms being the most popular.....when making mushroom risotto, I will use the liquid from hydrating the porcini mushrooms too.

          1. re: fourunder

            Ooh, I really like the barley twist. Unlike pasta it would/should absorb all the liquid, wouldn't it?

            1. re: c oliver

              The first time I saw Barley Risotto was on an episode of Michael Chiarello's cooking show...he made it more of a creamy/loose texture.....but yes, it absorbs a lot of liquid to make.


              1. re: fourunder

                I'd never heard of barley risotto until I had it at a restaurant in Prague a few weeks ago. It was done fairly dry but still creamy, quite savory, served as a bed for roast quail. Delicious!

                1. re: BobB

                  Poor baby. I know it took a real effort on your part to gag down those quail, huh? My daddy used to hunt quail and dove and I remember those meals fondling. On a bed of (any kind of) risotto would be gilding the lily. Good for you.

                  1. re: c oliver

                    And that was just the appetizer - it was followed by the most tender venison I've ever eaten!

                    P.S. I suspect you meant to write "fondly," not "fondling." I hope that's just a typo and not repressed memory syndrome. ;-)

                    1. re: BobB

                      i know that i'm a little late to the party on this one, but... haha! bob i was thinking the same thing but would not have phrased it quite so eloquently! :)

        2. After you tell us about the pasta part, did you make your own veal stock? If you bought it, where pray tell? Isn't there a law that one HAS to eat risotto until ill???

          14 Replies
          1. re: c oliver

            It's our own veal stock. I get it from the restaurant where I work.

            1. re: Den

              Lucky you. But I'm still wondering what pasta you use and how you make it work. I just can't get my brain around that.

              1. re: c oliver

                I use risotto of course and as I was corrected by the New Yorker, it's not a pasta although I think of it as one.

                1. re: Den

                  I have lots of pastas and lots of rices but arborio stands alone :) I've never thought of it as a pasta though.

                  1. re: c oliver

                    CO... I know you know that Arborio is a short grained Rice from the Piedmont region of Italy, actually named after the municipality of the same name..... Not A Pasta.

                    1. re: c oliver

                      Instead of arborio rice, try carnaroli rice. My Roman cousin swears it's "the best" and my god he is right. Perfect risotto every time.

                      1. re: heypielady

                        I'll check that out - once I use up all the arborio (rice). :)

                    2. re: Den

                      why do you think of it as a pasta?

                      1. re: scubadoo97

                        Let's see - a starchy, often cheesy (in the good sense) side dish - yeah, I can see that.

                        1. re: BobB

                          you actually can make risotto with pasta. my friend makes a saffron one using orzo that he is famous for. i keep making him promise to share the recipe.

                      2. re: Den

                        Didn't that sweet movie Big Night have a scene where the Italian purist chef refused to serve a customer a risotto and a pasta dish (because in his view that's like ordering two of the first course and ignoring the second course?

                        1. re: Bada Bing

                          Yes, and IIRC, there was the short scene where the female customer (I think it was Caroline Aaron) complained about the shrimp risotto not containing any shrimp...

                  2. re: c oliver

                    If you don't have restaurant veal stock, you can buy a pretty decent shelf-stable veal stock concentrate at the grocery store by a company called More Than Gournet (Demi-Glace Gold). I use it quite a bit.

                    1. re: stuck in Hartford County

                      I've used the chicken and read on CH about the others. I need to check that out. Thanks for the reminder.

                  3. One of my favorites is a risotto with chopped fresh tomatoes, cubed smoked mozzarella and basil. I used chicken stock when I make it.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: MMRuth

                      Wow, a summertime twist, eh? Back in the spring I made one with black trumpet mushrooms from our farmers market. Sigh.

                      1. re: MMRuth

                        Try adding the leftover juices from canned San Marzano tomatoes to the stock (along with some wine). I made one last week and it turned out great.

                      2. Someday I'm going to try that risotto with gorgonzola dolce and toasted pistachios, the recipe that's been floating around here for five years or more. Like the day I wake up and find that I have miraculously lost 10 lbs overnight.....


                        1 Reply
                        1. re: coll

                          I love that post and the comments and posts on that. An enteraining read!