The whole world envies us the risotto! And the first course more elegant than Italian cuisine and, on closer inspection, it is not just a recipe but one cooking technique articulated which, over time, has also undergone some noteworthy evolution. Knowing the ingredients and preparation steps allows you to apply them to countless variations. Are you ready for a review of the rules salary for top risotto?
Let's start with the 8 short steps to make a perfect risotto.
1 You do the sautéed in oil or butter (if required).
2 Yup tough sautéed rice, in fat alone or dry.
3 Yup fades possibly with wine (or other liquid), letting it evaporate well.
4 You start to pay the boiling broth, one ladle at a time, mixing well after each addition.
5 Another broth is added only after the previous one is consumed.
6 It goes out, the ingredients are combined for the creaming and blends well.
7 It adjusts if necessary salt.
8 You put the lid and wait a couple of minutes before serving.
This, to make it simple. To find out more, read the next in-depth paragraphs!
We can only start from the main ingredient. Indeed, the Ingredient, with a capital letter! We speak of course of the rice. The suitable one has grains that they keep cooking well, which do not break and keep an al dente heart. At the same time, they have to release the right amount of starch necessary to create the creams, the creamy component that binds the risotto. The famous correspond to these characteristics Carnaroli, Arborio, but also Bold And Rome: all qualities with long and large grains, are part of the category of superfine, the finest Italian rice. In particular, Carnaroli absorbs flavors well without "sagging": thus, it arrives on the table tasty and with the ideal texture. The Vialone nano: the grains are smaller (it is in fact a semi-fine), but capable of maintaining the right consistency. In addition, it has cooking times a few minutes shorter than superfines, a reason that makes it appreciated in many professional kitchens where espresso risotto can create timing problems. About times cooking: those of the risotto go 14 to 18 minutes, calculated from the first addition of liquid.
Not a high and narrow casserole, not a low and wide pan, but the right middle ground: for the risotto we use a pan preferably a straight walls, tall but still shorter than the diameter of the pot. The right materials need to distribute heat as well as they do copper And aluminum. The bottom must be thick to prevent the rice from sticking. For the same reason, good saucepans are also suitable non-stick.
Here the question is: yes or no? And the answer is: it depends. Let's start with the most codified recipe that involves basking in the fat (typically butter, but also oil) a finely chopped onion or shallot before adding and toasting (see) the rice. This technique presents a problem: the chosen bulb must cook over moderate heat to remain soft and not take too much color. While the rice must be toasted over a decisive heat. Here then the two operations can be performed separately. So, you can make the sauté in a pan, toast the rice in another, then combine the two bases and proceed with the recipe. Columbus's egg is the technique devised by the master Gualtiero Marchesi, that of the so-called "Sour butter": in practice, a butter flavored with shallots and white wine, then filtered in order to preserve only the fat part, which is not used at the beginning but added only at the end, during the creaming phase (see). However, if you are part of the sautéed team, make sure that shallot or onion are good chopped, into pieces smaller than a grain of rice.
Selected with great care, the rice must be treated with all the necessary precautions. During the execution of the recipe, each step aims to enhance the raw material. Starting right from the roasting, which allows in a certain sense to "seal" the beans and guarantees the seal of their "soul". This step is done by pouring the rice into the pan very hot and stirring the beans until they become translucent, almost transparent, and “sing”, that is, they creak slightly. The phenomenon is more evident if, as tradition dictates, the roasting is done in fat, in which the rice sizzles happily. However, more modern and light recipes have taken to toasting dry, simply in the pan well heated over the flame. To test if the rice is hot at the right point, you can bring your hand closer a few millimeters away (without touching it, so as not to burn yourself): you should feel a strong and almost unbearable heat that makes you lift it quickly! A pinch of salt combined in roasting, it immediately adds flavor to the beans.
For shade it means the addition of an alcoholic liquid, in general White wine, to "turn off" the roasting. Today, many prefer to avoid this step and start directly with the broth to avoid that the preparation retains aacidity too strong. The risotto "alla Marchesi" itself is toasted and cooked by skipping this phase (the wine, evaporated, smells its sour butter). Other cooks continue to appreciate the notes, including aromatic ones, that wine brings to the finished dish: if you are among them, it is important to completely evaporate the alcohol, until the nose no longer perceives the scent.
The broth more suitable for earthen risotto is light but not completely lean: that of chicken it is a winner for the most classic Lombard recipes, while in robust Piedmontese risottos, such as the one with Barolo, it is also used beef. The broth vegetable it is however indicated in vegetable-based preparations such as risotto alla trevisana. The base of the sea ones will instead be a comic book, perhaps prepared with the scraps of fish, crustaceans and molluscs used to enrich the dish. Purists (including many haute cuisine chefs), who love to enhance the natural taste of the finest varieties to the maximum, "pull" the rice with plain water. Whatever liquid is chosen, the important thing is that it is boiling, kept on a stove set to the minimum next to the pan in which the rice is cooking. One ladle is added at a time, turning always after each addition without leaving "dry" beans on the sides of the pot. The former is expected to be consumed before joining another. It is preferable that it is not salty or is only slightly salty: both because other components of the dish, such as sausage, could be, and because a cheese is often combined during the creaming phase, which naturally brings flavor. Many have doubts about the quantity necessary: generally, a measure of broth is calculated that corresponds to about 4 times the weight of the rice, abundant if you prefer on the wave, that is soft and creamy. Better to have a little more than a little less!
Depending on the recipes, there are ingredients that you bring immediately, starting from the sautéed, others that are just added before the first ladle of broth, others that are cooked apart from and / or join in the middle, still others in the end… To orient yourself, you need to consider dimensions, quality, quantity and times of cooking. Here are some examples. Not an overdose of sausage shelled, you can bask with the onion before toasting the rice, but if it is very, or very fatty, it is better to brown it separately and add it to the risotto. Pumpkin cubes, artichoke slices or others vegetables they are preferably combined with already toasted rice so as not to “interfere” with this process. THE shrimp they scampi they are still put raw only a few minutes from the end: to give flavor to the dish, you can use theirs scraps (heads and shells) for the fumet or to flavor the sauté, eliminating them before adding the rice. The saffron it dissolves in the last ladle of broth otherwise, during the long cooking, the aroma evaporates. The herbs they perfume the crucible bottom but are removed almost immediately, to prevent the leaves from dispersing in the rice and ending up under the teeth.
It is the final stage of preparation, which takes place strictly with the fire off: it is creamed by combining one or more fatty ingredients, which are mixed until perfectly dissolved and amalgamated in the risotto. There classic creaming and with butter (also “acid”, like that of Marchesi) e parmesan grated. Butter has to be cold, just removed from the fridge: the thermal shock, which develops in contact with the heat of the rice, creates the magical "cream" that wraps the grains and binds the plate. The variations are endless. Others can be used grated cheeses like parmesan or Lodi, creamy like taleggio cheese and gorgonzola, fresh such as goats and robiole. Instead of butter, oil is of course allowed, especially suitable for delicate recipes from the vegetable garden and the sea. At the end, it is a must to taste so as to adjust, if necessary, with salt.
It takes place immediately after creaming: the pan is covered with the lid and the risotto is left to rest a minute or two, during which the creams and flavors settle. Before serving, it may be necessary to add a little more broth to the rice: did you remember, right, that you had a little more available?
How it is served
Risotto all'onda, slow and creamy, should be served in flat plate, pouring it in the center and spreading it with light strokes of the palm of the hand on the external bottom. If you like it more sustained, you can serve it in a holster or even in shape, with the help of a pastry cutter. It's time to go to the table and … good risotto for everyone!