How to make risotto?
10 tips to cook at its best this yummy Veneto food

Speaking about how to make risotto, I ‘d like to give you some tips and show you some little shrewdness in order to cook it at its best.
Even though they can appear to be unimportant, I guarantee that they make a difference!

Risotto is a typical italian dish, prepared in all of Italy. Its tradition though, originates and it’s stronger in the northern regions, like Veneto, Lombardy and Piedmont, where you find more humid microclimates suitable to grow rice.

About Veneto, there is an important area in the plains south of Verona, where you can find extended rice fields. There is even a rice route, interesting also from the cultural side, with romanesque churches, typical Renaissance Veneto villas, castles, hamlets.

The rice grown in Veneto is the fine Vialone Nano, one of the best types when it comes to cook the traditional risotto.

So, don’t forget to taste this dish if you come to Veneto, it’s really worth while if you want to dip into the italian food culture.

Speaking about how to make risotto, I can say this is simple but..not easy.
I mean that you need to put into practice some small shrewdeness which will make a difference. Don’t worry, once you’ll gain a bit of experience, it will come automatically.
Like anything.

More than for pasta though, how to make risotto at its best is a matter of taste balance.

I myself, don’t cook that often and I am not particularly skilled at cooking, but i guarantee that I am able to make a yummy risotto. You can too, just be a bit patient.

10 Important tips on how to make risotto

  1. one of the most important rules when it comes to how to make risotto is to pay attention to the rice type: the recommended ones are the Carnaroli, the Vialone Nano, which, as mentioned above, is a typical Veneto rice type which grows south of Verona, then the Arborio and the Baldo why are these types more suitable? because they have a higher content of starch, therefore they don’t get too mushy during the final creaming process
  2. do not wash the rice before cooking it, if you don’t want it to be mushy, with the exception of the brown rice, that you should let it soak in water two hours before..
    ..but this is just a hint for the perfectionists, I usually use the brown rice when I cook the risotto with pumpkin, but to tell you the truth I never soak it, and the results are not too bad, or so they say..
  3. use a earthenware or cast-iron enameled pot, recommended for the long cook times as they radiate heat more slowly.
    Of course this is just a tip for getting the best result. If you don’t have those type of pots it does not matter, just continue
  4. do not put a lid on. Never, when you make risotto
  5. allow about 100gr/1/4 lb of rice per person
  6. to cook risotto for 4 people use roughly 1.5L /0.40 gallons of water to prepare the broth
  7. I have always heard about the 18 minutes risotto cooking rule.
    In reality this is a rough calculation, as it depends on diverse factors like the rice quantity, or on how much broth you add during the cooking, etc.
    Even here, the experience counts. It will tell you when is the right time to stop cooking. Pay close attention to not overcook it, turning it into a disappointing pasty mush.
    I must say, though, that the current kinds of rice are made in a way that they do not overcook
  8. always do make the rice brown and toast on oil or/and a knob of butter, and thinly sliced onion
  9. do always stir very gently to not mash the rice
  10. one more tip: use seasonal vegetables

You can cook risotto in hundreds of ways, with a lot of different ingredients, and it’s much better if they are seasonal.

For example, how to make risotto in winter, when we need more nutrishous food?
More probably it will be with meat or mushrooms.
In summer a seafood risotto, or with peas, in autumn with pumpkin.
Just to name a few.

I love the risotto with the pumpkin, even more with brown rice.
The healthy trends of the recent years has reassessed the whole rice and cereals nutrition importance - that is not being taken away its bran - very rich in vitamins and minerals.

Another one is the risotto with saffron, a classical dish from Milan, good for every season.

The traditional Veneto’s risotto

In Veneto you can eat all types of risotto. The most typical of this italian region is the risotto with radicchio. I love it.

The radicchio, of the two types of Treviso and Verona (two Veneto’s towns), is a fine dark red salad.
It’s a typical Veneto’s vegetable, which grows only here, and it has been labeled by the European Union with the PGI (protected Geographical Indication), to mark its local nature and its quality.

You can eat it in winter, and it has a typical bitterish taste, that contrasts and blends well at the same time with the sweet flavor of the rice.

Another typical made in Veneto risotto is the one with the fine white asparagus from the Bassano del Grappa area.

P.S. How to make risotto...and pasta

I want to end with a fun story: to realize if the rice is well cooked, do not do like some Polish people friends of mine that told me how people do it in Poland to test whether the pasta is done or not.

Take the spaghetti: they pull out one of them and throw it on the wall..if it sticks, then it’s well them.

Well, I am sorry, it does not work that way.. never seen an Italian throwing spaghetti at a wall...Plus, sticking with the italian tradition the pasta should be al dente, meaning not overcooked, yet even better a bit undercooked.
And if a spaghetto sticks to the wall it’s probably... definitely overcooked.

Take a look at some delicious Veneto risotto recipes...
I recommend that you follow my above tips so.. you will cook a great risotto!

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