Risotto is, in Italian cuisine, a “primo piatto”, serving as such as the first course of a meal. Risotto is served as an alternative to pasta, so there are many options, as in the case of pasta. So we are talking about a dish in itself, risotto being rarely served as a side dish. This risotto has a particular texture. At the time of serving, it must be semi-fluid, like a slightly flowing cream. Those rice mounted in a circle, or various shapes are not risottos, despite the stubbornness of some to call them that.
An Italian risotto is made only from certain types of rice,, which contain a higher amount of starch. The best known of these are carnaroli and arborio. At the same time, for risotto, there is a unique preparation technique. The purpose is to release the starch accumulated naturally on the surface of the grains to obtain a very creamy preparation. Then, a not insignificant detail is that risotto is never cooked in clear water. A soup is always used, either with vegetables or meat, and the rice will take on its taste. The tastier the basic soup used, the more flavorful the risotto will be. Using the suitable varieties of rice, a good soup as a base, and the specific technique will lead to a correct and delicious risotto.
Risotto can be simple and will still be delicious. However, many varieties are known, with various vegetables, mushrooms, cheeses (cacio e pepe), seafood, etc. Perhaps the most famous option is risotto alla Milanese, a fragrant but straightforward colorful dish with saffron.
For those who love spinach, this recipe with rice is delicious and is not very difficult to prepare.
Creamy Peas and Spinach Risotto
- a medium pot
- a medium saucepan
- a ladle
8 to 12 servings (as a side dish)
- 1 cup of arborio rice or carnaroli
- 1 quart of low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 medium yellow onions
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan
- 1 cup blanched peas
- 1 cup blanched spinach
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper to taste
- topping: grated parmesan
- Add chicken broth to a pot and bring to a boil.
- Finely chop the onions and garlic cloves.
- Heat a saucepan over low heat, and add half of the butter and olive oil.
- Add onion and garlic and a pinch of salt. Saute over low heat, frequently stirring, until onions soften. The rule would be that the pieces do not exceed the size of the rice grains.
- Raise the temperature to medium-high and add the rice. This step is essential for risotto. Stir continuously for 3-4 minutes until the rice grains become slightly translucent and absorb the butter and hardened onion base. Be careful not to overcook.
- Over the cooked rice, pour the dry white wine all at once. Mix well and allow to evaporate completely.
- Add a ladle from the hot chicken broth and mix. Reduce the heat to low. Stir continuously and when the rice absorbs the soup, add another polish. Continue stirring until the rice is cooked al dente.
- Add blanched peas and spinach, keep the risotto on the heat for another minute, then season with salt and pepper, turn off the heat, and set it aside.
- Add the remaining butter and some extra grated parmesan cheese. Stir vigorously so that the added dairy products melt and add creaminess to the preparation.
- Serve immediately, hot, so that it does not start to harden, decorated with fine splinters of Parmesan. The texture of the risotto must be semi-fluid.