This Spring Risotto is fresh, creamy, cheesy, and delectable. It’s a simple, but impressive meal, loaded with peas, mushrooms, crispy prosciutto, and parmesan.Jump to Recipe
I almost always choose pasta over risotto, but I know there is something to be missed out on by skipping it. Risotto is creamy, salty, cheesy, rich in flavor, and just hits the spot. I didn’t grow up on risotto and I imagine many people didn’t either, but it’s one of those things that hooks you once you try it. I feel like risotto just started becoming popular and gaining more attention too. Seemingly every Italian restaurant has a risotto on their menu – unless maybe I just notice it now.
I always seem to make risotto in the spring, but you can make it in any season. Although standing over the stove to cook risotto in the summer might not be too nice, it pairs really well with seafood. In fact, we served Lobster Risotto with Pesto Shrimp as an option at our June wedding and it was a hit.
Spring might be my favorite time to make risotto because of the spring vegetables that you can add-in. Aside from the delectable base (wine, butter, cheese – a trio made in heaven), what gets added into this dish is some aromatic ingredients like shallot and garlic, spring vegetables like peas and mushrooms, and lastly, some salty crispy prosciutto (yeah, the prosciutto gets FRIED).
It’s a flavorful twist to something warm and creamy. Risotto is good for all occasions. I’m not even going to pretend like there’s a bad time to have it. It's homey, impressive, and fast. I don’t know about you, but those check all my boxes.
I once heard that risotto is a good dish to make when you’re talking on the phone, and I can say that this is true because it’s fairly mindless to cook. You just need one hand to stir and stir and stir. There’s sort of a calmness to making risotto too because you’re really just pouring ladles full of liquid in at a time, stirring, and watching the rice slowly cook and absorb it. Then, before too much gets absorbed and the rice starts sticking to the bottom of the pan, you add in more.
TIPS TO MAKE THE BEST RISOTTO
- Risotto gets cooked in wine at first, followed by a little broth at a time until eventually the rice cooks and becomes creamy from releasing starches. This happens from the rice bumping up against each other, which is why the stirring is critical.
- Keeping the liquid warm is also crucial because adding cold liquid to the pan will shock the rice and prevent it from releasing its starches. You won’t get the creamiest risotto this way. You’ll also just waste time getting the liquid to warm up.
- If you pour all the liquid in at once, rather than a bit at a time, you’re really just boiling rice!
- The amount of time you cook the risotto matters too. Too little cooking and the rice can be a bit too tough, and too much cooking and it turns to mush. Think of it like pasta, the risotto has an al dente sweet spot.
That’s all there is to it!
What rice to use – While writing this recipe, I learned from Food & Wine Magazine that carnaroli rice is actually the best type of rice to use for the creamiest risotto. If this isn’t available by you, arborio is the next best thing and what many recipes call for. Just a fun fact I wanted to share! For simplicity, access to ingredients, and since I have not tested this rice, I kept the type of rice in this recipe as arborio – but I am eager to try Carnaroli!
Wine – Lots of chefs recommend a dry, crisp white wine, such as a pinot grigio, sauvignon blanc, or unoaked chardonnay. But first and foremost, the wine should be something good that you would drink because it will impact the flavor of the food.
Spring vegetables - I chose to use peas and mushrooms in this Spring Risotto, but other vegetables could include asparagus, leeks, or even scallion.
A serving of this risotto contains 372 calories, 15 grams of protein, 55 grams of carbs, and 6 grams of fats.
REHEATING & STORING
Risotto will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can reheat in the microwave, although it won’t be as creamy as doing it on the stove and stirring in some broth to make the risotto creamy again.
AS ALWAYS, IF YOU MAKE THIS – PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW!
- 3 ounces prosciutto
- 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
- 2 shallots diced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2 cups arborio rice
- 1 cup white wine
- 4 cups broth
- 1 cup water
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp unsalted whipped butter
- ½ cup peas
- ½ cup grated parmesan
In a skillet on medium heat, tear the prosciutto into small pieces and add to the pan. Fry the prosciutto until its crispy and browning. Reserve to the side and keep warm.
In the same skillet, add the mushrooms, shallots, and garlic and sauté for about 5 minutes until browning. Set to the side and keep warm.
In the skillet, add the rice and keep the heat on low. Toast the rice for about 2 minutes, or until its popping and crackling. Pour in the wine and raise the heat to medium to bring to a low steady simmer. Stir often.
In a small pot, heat the broth and water and keep it warm throughout cooking the risotto.
When half of the wine has been absorbed by the risotto, add one ladle full of the broth to the skillet. Stir often until again, half the broth has been absorbed.
Continue adding one ladle full to the skillet at a time and stirring until either all broth has been used or the risotto is al dente (in between firm and mushy).
When the risotto has finished cooking, add salt and pepper to taste, and swirl in the 2 tbsp of butter. Add in the peas and mushrooms and warm thoroughly, about 2 minutes.
Turn off the heat and mix in prosciutto and parmesan. If the rice gets dry or is sticking to the bottom of the pan at any point, add in a tbsp of broth or water at a time.
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