The art of making risotto comes from a watchful eye and vigilant stirring.

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Don’t let risotto intimidate you. It’s simply a more elegant version of rice. Risotto has the creaminess of cheese grits and the delicate texture of rice. Making creamy risotto is far from rocket science, but there are a few valuable tips every home cook should know.

Don't Rinse The Rice

Unlike other rice such as jasmine or basmati, you should not rinse arborio rice (the rice used to cook risotto) before cooking. The starch on the outside of long grain rice causes it to become sticky and gummy when cooked. But for risotto, the starch actually helps create an extra creamy sauce. Just like the handy dandy trick of using pasta water to create creamier sauces, the exterior starch helps the stock, butter, and cheese produce a silky, rich sauce. With this helpful tip, you’ll finally be able to cook the risotto of your dreams. It’s not that hard to master this Italian dish, although it does require an extremely watchful eye and vigilant stirring. But the best part is that it’s done cooking in under 30 minutes, making it a quick dinner solution.

Select The Right Rice

Arborio rice is the key to making a creamy pot of risotto. It’s firm, chewy, and blends especially well with other ingredients such as the stock and the butter. However, if you don’t seem to have arborio on hand, Carnaroli or Maratelli are fitting substitutes.

Slowly Add Stock 

Make sure your dish to cooks evenly by placing a simmering stock on an empty burner. Spoon a portion of the stock into the dish for the rice to absorb slowly, instead of dumping all of the stock in at once. This makes sure the rice creates the correct texture.

Cook At The Right Temperature

Risotto should be made over medium heat. If the temperature is too low, it might not cook. If it runs too high, it may burn.

Consider The Right Stir-to-Time Ratio

The stir-to-time ratio is important in making risotto. Make sure to not to stir the rice constantly or the texture will be ruined. In order for the risotto to absorb the other ingredients, it must simmer within the pot. It’s recommended to stir the risotto every 30 seconds.

With these easy tricks, you might be implementing risotto into every meal. We can’t blame you, with the smooth texture and rich taste, risotto has earned its spot on the weeknight meal rotation. For all the meat-lovers, risotto especially shines in dishes with roasted chicken, bacon, or shrimp. It’s also versatile enough to work in vegetarian friendly meals—just add sautéed vegetables such as mushrooms, asparagus, and squash to the risotto. Not to mention it’s not too hard to convince kids to eat this delicious dish, with the consistency and taste of macaroni and cheese it has made it on the coveted list of kid-approved meals. Move over rice, risotto is here to stay.