The first time I ever tasted risotto was in Turks and Caicos and was because it was one of the few things on the resort’s menu that was vegetarian. It was described on the menu as a rice dish, so being a die hard rice lover, (my husband always teases me about how much rice I can consume during any given meal) I thought I would give it a try. Once I took that first creamy bite, there was no coming back.. I felt like I was in a different place– hard to imagine feeling so dreamy when you’re already on an exotic little island with your dream guy. My love affair with risotto had officially begun, and now even though I don’t order it at restaurants out of fear of it not living up to that perfectly prepared risotto on a tropical island, I love to make it at home. Some people don’t like to make risotto because of the “slaving over the stove” constantly stirring the stock ladle-fuls at a time into the arborio rice. I actually find this to be very relaxing and enjoy it after a long day at work. I especially love to make it when it’s cold out!
recipe adapted from Giada DeLaurentiis
8 cups canned low sodium vegetable broth
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups finely chopped onions
10 ounces baby bella mushrooms, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice or short-grain white rice
2/3 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup frozen peas, thawed
2/3 cup grated Parmesan
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Melt the butter in a heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add olive oil. Add the onions and saute until tender, about 8 minutes. Add the mushrooms and garlic. Saute until the mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the rice and let it toast for a few minutes. Add the wine; cook until the liquid is absorbed, stirring often, about 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of broth; simmer over medium-low heat until the liquid is absorbed, stirring often, about 3 minutes. Continue to cook until the rice is just tender and the mixture is creamy, adding more broth by cupfuls and stirring often, about 28 minutes (the rice will absorb 6 to 8 cups of broth). Stir in the peas. Mix in the Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Note: the original recipe calls for the broth to be heated first. I do not do this. The broth I add is at room temperature and I do not think this change compromises the dish.