“Risotto – it’s not a food, it’s a philosophy!” this is what one of the most famous Estonian chefs, Dmitri Demjanov, has said. In this article we share some tips and tricks of how to make a genuine Italian risotto and introduce different types of risotto rice. If you have limited time for cooking, in this article you can find out how to make an excellent risotto in just 2-3 minutes.
To make a good risotto, you first need quality ingredients. The most important ingredient in risotto making is definitely carefully selected risotto rice. Riso Gallo is No 1 Italian rice producer whose high quality risotto rice is known all over the world and valued by top chefs. The same Riso Gallo rice selection is now available in our Da Vinci Food e-shop. The selection includes different first class risotto rice and ready-made products that we now give a good overview of.
Arborio is one of the most popular and most used rice in risotto making. Vialone Nano risotto rice is characterised by a short and round grain and this is excellent for making seafood risottos. Carnaroli rice is considered to be ”first class” risotto rice that is suitable for a grand event.
When using the abovementioned rice types you get the best result if you follow the 5 fundamental steps of Italian risotto making:
1st step: Soffritto
Every good risotto starts from a good soffritto or risotto foundation. This often includes onions, carrots and celery that are chopped and fried in olive oil or butter. At the same time, it is good to add the “solid” risotto ingredients which cook longer and do not get too soft when cooked at high heat (e.g. dried mushrooms, meat). NB! Keep the broth you are going to add to the risotto warm since you do not want it to cool down the rice mix later on.
2nd step: Tostatura
Tostatura originates from an Italian word that means “to toast”. Namely the fried soffritto-mix are now added the rice and it is heated (without liquids). The aim of tostatura is to make the temperature of the rice and the broth even. This step encourages the rice to bake evenly and it helps to avoid the grains to break later on. NB! Use a pot that is of a suitable size and make sure the heat distributes evenly under the pot.
3rd step: Broth
Add the broth step by step and add the next increment only after the previous has absorbed. While adding the broth stir the risotto slowly and frequently, use a spatula and move it up and down. Stirring is important for keeping the temperature even and the risotto from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Make sure that the temperature is high enough – little bubbles have to be visible. NB! 1 kg risotto rice longs for about 3.5-4 l of broth.
3.5th step: Ingredients
After about 2/3 of the risotto making process have passed the rest of the risotto ingredients are added (e.g. asparagus, peas, fresh mushrooms). Adding the ingredients during the final third of the process helps to avoid over-cooking the ingredients and lets the flavours set. Sometimes it is worth cooking the vegetables separately and adding them only at the very end. This helps to maintain a total control over the texture of the ingredients.
4th step: Resting
Risotto is ready if you cannot see the white starch spot in the middle of the rice grains. Before serving it is a good idea to let the risotto rest a bit. To do so, remove the risotto from the heat when the grains are still al dente and let it sit. Shake the pot with risotto slightly but do not stir. The aim is to lower the temperature in order to prepare it for the final step.
5th step: Matecatura
Manteca is a word for butter in Spanish. In this step the risotto is added the two final yet important components: cubed butter and Parmesan cheese. Usually a lot of butter is added: even up to 200 g per 1 kg of rice. Stir the risotto intensively until the butter and cheese have melted and the texture of your risotto is even and creamy. Serve. NB! Traditionally risotto is served on a plate not in a bowl.
If you want to make the risotto making process quicker, more convenient or you even want to skip it the Riso Gallo chefs have made most of the work for you and packed the ready-made risottos into 250 g packets. All you need to do to enjoy an Italian meal is to add 0-100 ml water (depends on the instructions you can find on the pack) to the packet and heat it on a pan or in a microwave oven. Riso Gallo risotto prontos are excellent for a lunch at work or for a dinner. There are seven different flavours available: 4-cheese, mushroom, saffron, basmati, whole-grain, 3-grain and quinoa.
Riso Gallo offers the more adventurous home chefs an opportunity to take trips to the food cultures of other countries of the world and bring the tastes and smells of Japan, Thailand, India and South France to their plates. The selection includes the delicate and nutty red rice from the Camargue region in the Southern France, the black rice with an exotic scent of sandal wood and the classic jasmine rice, Basmati rice and sushi rice which all help you to bring the exotic recipes you have chosen alive. Keeping the health-conscious chefs in mind, Riso Gallo also offers a nice rice mix with white and red quinoa, which lets the two cereal plants so popular in Italy and South America meet.
Riso Gallo is a No 1 brand on the Italian rice market and their produce is used in 77 countries all over the world. All Riso Gallo products are characterised with a very thorough quality control during which each rice grain is optically checked. A large amount of the rice offered by Riso Gallo is grown in Italy on the Po or Lombardy plains in Northern Italy, between the Alps and Apennines. Riso Gallo also publishes a cookery book Guida Gallo dedicated to risotto making. The book brings together those risotto recipes developed by top chefs of the world that are based on Riso Gallo top quality rice products.
All Riso Gallo products talked about in the article are available on Da Vinci Food e-shop.
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