Rockin’ Risotto


2 weekends ago was my best friends baby shower in CT.   It was a great time because I was able to spend time with some of the people I love, like my friend Jen, Catia, and Melissa:  All my best friends!

My friend Catia just got married and I was able to see the house they are living in while they build their next home.  She loves to cook, so while hanging out in the living room I asked her what she makes for dinners.  She mentioned cooking risotto and my eyes lit up, “Wow!  That’s really hard to make”, I said.  Her response “It’s really not!”. I inquired more, and to my surprise it really didn’t sound too hard.  Now, my hesitation to ever make risotto was due to Gordon Ramsey on Hell’s Kitchen, with the wretched “IT’S RAW!” when helping his chef’s cook risotto.  Now that my friend confirmed that it was something I could make, I thought I would give it a try.

I’ll be honest, I tried it fully expecting it to end ugly, but to my surprise I did an amazing job with it (pat myself on the back), and now it’s actually my favorite thing to make.  Thanks, Catia!

So, now, for any of you questioning whether or not you could make this:  If I can make it, you can make it!


3 Tablespoons olive oil (divided)

1 cup arborio rice

1/4 cup dry white wine

4-5 cups low sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth

4 cloves garlic (divided)

2 cups spinach

Salt and pepper

Parmesan Cheese (if desired)

1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil on medium high heat

  1. Add 1 tablespoon garlic and sautee for 2-3 minutes or until aromatic
  2. Add spinach and toss frequently until wilted (about 3 minutes)
  3. Once spinach is finished set aside
  4. In a saucepan, warm the chicken broth and leave warm (broth needs to be warm when added to the risotto)
  5.  In a heavy saucepan, melt 1 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat
  6. Add onion and garlic and cook until they beginning to soften, about 5 minutes
  7. Add rice; stir 1 minute.
  8. Add wine and stir until almost all liquid is absorbed, about 1-2 minutes
  9. Once absorbed, add 1 cup hot broth and a dash of salt and pepper (if desired) and let simmer until the liquid is mostly absorbed. This takes about 4 minutes. Make sure to keep stirring, otherwise it will burn. This is the most tedious part, but it’s worth it!
  10. Once liquid is almost absorbed, add more broth, 1 cup at a time, allowing each addition to be absorbed before adding the next and stirring often, continuing doing this until rice is tender and mixture is creamy, about 20 minutes longer.
  11. Once tender, stir in spinach. ** At this point you could add 1tbs butter to make creamier, but it really isn’t necessary! You could also add the parmesan at this point and salt and pepper, as needed.

Serving Suggestion:

I served with a pork tenderloin. If a new chef, like me, it is a pretty time sensitive dish, so you could also add more vegetables like mushrooms and call that a meal if you don’t want a protein. Otherwise, you could also toss in some chicken! As for a tasty beverage, I served with a nice dry white wine!

Image   The Chef in the works


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