America’s Test Kitchen, variations are original

Serves 8


  • 3 ½ c chicken stock
  • 3 c water
  • 4 Tbs butter
  • 1 onion minced
  • 2 c arborio rice
  • 1 c white wine
  • 1 c parmesan cheese

Pour the stock an water into a pot and once you bring it to a boil, reduce the heat to low and cover.

Melt the butter into a large non stick pan. Add the minced onions and saute on medium heat until soft, about 8 minutes. Add the rice to the pan and stir for a minute or two, making sure each kernel is coated in fat. Add in the wine and stir until it is completely absorbed.

Add in 3 cup of the broth mixture and set your timer for 11 minutes. During this period stirring the risotto occasionally will do. If the pan gets too dry, add another cup of liquid.

When the time goes off, set it for 11 minutes again. At this point it is critical to stir almost constantly, adding a half cup of broth when it gets too dry. In the event you run out of liquid altogether, add more to the pot. When the timer goes off your rice should be done or nearly there. If it needs more time, continue stirring and adding broth until it needs no more cooking.

When the rice is done, remove from the heat and transfer to a serving bowl. Mix in the cheese and season.

Variation: Mushroom and Herb Risotto

  • 8 oz mushrooms, cleaned, stems removed and reserved and caps diced large
  • 1 extra Tbs olive oil
  • 1 Tbs fresh thyme, minced
  • 1 Tbs fresh oregano, minced

Changes to the base recipe: Before cooking the onions, put the extra oil and brown the diced mushrooms in the skillet, about 8 minutes. Set aside. Add the mushroom stems to simmer in the broth mixture for a flavor. When stirring in the parmesan at the end of the recipe, stir in the reserved mushrooms and herbs as well.

Variation: Risotto with Jowl Bacon and Peas

  • 3 - 4 oz jowl bacon, preferably Cumberland brand, cut into 1/4" cubes (regular bacon may be substituted)
  • 1 c shelled garden peas fresh or frozen

Changes: Brown the bacon in the skillet over high heat first. Remove meat with a slotted spoon and set aside. If there is more than 4 Tbs of bacon fat, remove the excess, if there is less than 4 Tbs, make up the difference with butter. Then cook the onions in this fat. Stir the bacon and peas in the hot risotto at the step with the parmesan is added.

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