When I was 18 years old, I did a modeling job in Venice, Italy — one of the world’s most incredible food cities. There’s a famous restaurant there called Harry’s Bar (yes, one of Venice’s best restaurants has an American name), which serves some of the most delectable food I’ve ever tried. The entire Italian film crew ordered heavenly dish after dish for us to share family style. Salads with rich burrata cheese, pizza margherita, pasta pomodoro and the first risotto that I ever tried. I had no idea what risotto was, but I knew that it was the closest thing to heaven I’d ever tasted. I was shocked at how something that appeared so simple could be so complex in flavor.
Risotto is a rice dish made specifically with arborio rice (easy to find at most grocery stores). The arborio rice is the essential ingredient that gives it such a creamy texture. Although most of the dishes on weelicious take minutes to prepare, I personally think the 30 minutes that it takes to continually stir this dish is totally worth it. Especially if your whole family is going to be eating it!
- In a large pot, bring the chicken stock to a simmer (do not bring it to a boil or the liquid will start to evaporate)
- In a 12-14 ounce skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.
- Add the onions and lightly saute for 3-4 minutes until translucent.
- Add the rice. Using a wooden spoon, stir the grains until toasty and opaque.
- Add 1/2 cup of the hot stock to the rice and cook until it’s absorbed.
- Continue adding stock 1/2 cup at a time waiting to add more stock until all the liquid is absorbed and the risotto is tender and creamy. This process should take about 20 minutes.
- When all of the liquid is absorbed add the butter and cheese and continue stirring until combined.
- Cool to room temperature for little ones and serve (if adults are going to eat it, dig in right away!)