This is my sixth post in my WordPress Cooking Challenge. Read more about the challenge and see previous posts HERE.
My first taste of risotto was at a fancy Italian restaurant.
I had heard of risotto before. Someone had described it to me as overcooked rice. Sounds appetizing, right? Actually, no. Not at all. I was not sold on the idea of overcooked rice. But my meal at this restaurant included beef risotto. So I tried it.
After the first bite entered my mouth, I no longer cared about the other food on my plate. I was entranced by the depth of the rich beef and Parmesan that lingered in my mouth. The rice was no longer plain rice, or even flavorful rice. Instead, it had been cooked to a creamy consistency slightly reminiscent of rice. Flavor permeated every mouthful.
Ever since, I have been followed by a desire to make risotto at home. When I saw Abby’s recipe for pea and Parmesan risotto, I decided it was time. I was going to make my very own risotto!
Abby’s recipe was easy to follow with good instructions and helpful pictures, and it gave me a good understanding of the process and the patience involved in making risotto.
When you cook rice, you combine dry rice with the required amount of liquid and leave it covered to cook until the liquid is absorbed. When you cook risotto, you add small amounts of liquid in intervals, stirring constantly, so the rice releases more of its starches, creating that beautifully creamy texture that is characteristic of risotto.
This means that for the risotto, I spent a LOT of time standing in front of the stove. And though my bare feet paid a price from standing in one place for thirty minutes, the risotto was worth it. 🙂
To cook my rice into a risotto, I ended up needing a tad more broth (about 1/2 cup). I think the broth was evaporating faster than it could be absorbed, possibly due to the poor quality pot I used. After adding in the extra broth, it turned out just right. Creamy and delicious.
The peas add a nice sweetness to balance out the salty Parmesan. This is also a healthier version of risotto than recipes that add heavy cream. So you get a lot of flavor without quite as many calories. 🙂 All in all, this was a great introduction to risotto! (In fact, I’ve made it twice since!)
Check out the original recipe at Food on the Table here: Pea and Parmesan Risotto