Risotto is one of those recipes that seemed kind of fancy and time consuming to until I actually made it.
You have probably heard that you must stir risotto constantly, but I heartily disagree. I actually timed myself with 'laps' on my iPhone to prove you don't need to stir constantly. Just, ya know, regularly.
I would say risotto takes as much time, or less even, as any other meal at home. The only real prep is grating the Parmesan cheese and even that you could do between stirs.
We normally like to add in some extras. Some of our favorites are chopped fresh spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, asparagus, sautéed mushrooms, green peas, leftover roasted chicken potatoes and carrots, anything really!
Make sure your broth is warm in a pot on the stove, ready to be added to the rice. One thing I've learned about risotto is if I start with a broth that I don't like, I'm not going to like the risotto (ahem, veggie broth!). The better the broth, the better the risotto. We like to get a rotisserie chicken from Plum Market and put it on A Simple Salad for dinner one night and make homemade chicken broth while we're enjoying our low-prep dinner.
1 c Arborio rice
4 c your favorite broth, homemade chicken broth is ours
1 tablespoon of olive oil
A Parmesan rind or three (This is my secret weapon for rich and creamy risotto!!)
Salt and pepper to taste
Have your broth warm to hot (not boiling) in a pot on the stove before you begin.
In a large pot, heat your tablespoon of olive oil for a minute then add your rice to the pot and coat with olive oil.
Add 1/2 c of warm broth to your rice, stir to coat, let simmer for about 1 minute, add another 1/2 c warm broth to the rice, stir to coat, let simmer for about 1 minute (give or take 30 seconds), repeat about 2 more times (a total of about 4 to 5 minutes).
Make sure your rinds stay cheese side down as best as you can in between stirs.
Now, you can wait a little longer between stirs and adding broth. The heat should be up medium-high, and the broth bubbling. At this point you need to just make sure the rice doesn't burn. So even though you don't need to stir constantly, you shouldn't just walk away.
Add 1/2 c of broth periodically when it starts to look somewhat dry, and stirring up to 3 minutes between stirs when you have a lot of broth you don't want the rice to be drowning.
After about 20 minutes, try a rice grain to see how cooked it is. The total cook time is anywhere between 25 and 30 minutes. Anything more than 30 minutes will probably be a bit on the mushy side. I like my rice grains to remain intact in a creamy cheesy sauce.
When the rice is cooked to your liking and it is creamy and not brothy, turn the heat off and use tongs to remove what is left of the rinds. Add the Parmesan cheese and any extras and stir to incorporate. Serve immediately topping with extra cheese, salt and pepper.