Giada Di Laurentis is single handily responsible for my new love of cooking Italian food. You see, I have always loved to eat all types of food but growing up I was not exposed to many different types of cuisine from around the world. In other words, I was intimidated. But, Giada is so darn lovable that she makes even the most difficult tasks (hello homemade gnocchi) seem like the work of children.
Risotto is a pain in the hiney to make. It just is. You have to stand there and stir it the entire time that it cooks. But, it is creamy and yummy and if you are prepared for the work going into it making it can be very rewarding (and I'm not just taking about the party in your mouth when the first grain hits your tongue.)
This recipe could not possibly be any better. I like to add my own touch to recipes so I added in some garlic but other than that I can't possibly think of anything that could be done to this recipe to make it any better. It is that good.
Here is the recipe, my notes and changes are in italic:
(Source: Food Network)
5 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 T. butter
2 oz. pancetta, chopped (you can substitute bacon but it might not be as good)
6 oz. Italian sausage, casing removed
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
4 oz. button mushrooms, coarsely chopped
1 large clove of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 1/2 c. Arborio rice
3/4 c. dry white wine
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1 T. chopped fresh Italian parsley
1. In a medium saucepan, bring the broth to a simmer. Cover the broth and keep warm over low heat.
2. In a large heavy saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the pancetta and sausage and saute until golden brown about 5 minutes. Add the onion, bell pepper and mushrooms and saute until tender, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan, about 8 minutes. Add minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about one minute, being careful not to burn. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Add the rice and stir to coat. Add the wine and simmer until the wine has almost completely evaporated, about 1 minute. Add 1/2 cup of the simmering brother and stir until almost completely absorbed, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking the rice, adding the broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and allowing each addition of broth to absorb before adding the next, until the rice is tender but still firm to the bit and the mixture is creamy, about 25-30 minutes total.
4. Remove from heat. Stir in 3/4 of the Parmesan. Transfer the risotto to a serving bowl. Sprinkle with the parsley and remaining Parmesan and serve immediately.