To cook like risotto
Cooking risotto consists of three very important steps:
Toasting is the step that makes the difference between risotto and boiled rice, as it allows the grain to be "sealed" and the right amount of starch to be released. Among the rules on how to cook risotto, the most controversial regards the matter of sautéing.
If you prefer to begin with a ‘soffritto’, first sauté some finely chopped onion, shallot or leek in order to ensure an even consistency of all ingredients when cooked.
Brown the chopped onion in a little butter, then add the rice and toast well for about 3 minutes to ensure it absorbs the fat. Normally, a little white wine is added and allowed to evaporate completely.
Those who prefer to dry-toast their rice add wine only at a later point. Many schools of thought maintain that rice should be dry-roasted, so that the moisture from the soffritto does not impair the outer seal of the grain.
In this case you will need two pans: One for the soffritto and one for dry-toasting the rice. Also in this case, the toasting process takes about 3 minutes. Then add the toasted rice to the soffritto, deglaze with wine and cook.
Rice is cooked over a medium heat, adding boiling stock gradually as it is absorbed and stirring frequently. It is in fact essential that during cooking the grains are always covered with stock, so they release starch and do not break.
The stock must be boiling to avoid continually blocking the cooking process.
’Mantecatura’ or creaming
Once cooked, remove from the heat and add some butter or extra-virgin olive oil and some grated Parmigiano, if desired, mixing well to obtain the typical creamy consistency of risotto, not too liquid and not too compact.