Classic risotto


  • Prep Time10 mins
  • Total Time10 mins
  • Makes2 to 3 Servings
*PLUS Cooking time: 26 minutes

There's no getting around it: The secret of this creamy Italian rice dish is lots of slow and steady stirring. So pour yourself a glass of wine and grab your wooden spoon.


  • 900-ml carton chicken broth

  • 3/4 cup dry white wine

  • 1 large onion, or 2 small onions or 2 leeks

  • 2 tbsp butter

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 cup arborio rice

  • 1 cup freshly grated parmesan, or asiago

  • 1/2 cup snipped fresh chives, about 1 bunch


  • Pour broth and 1/2 cup (125 mL) wine into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Finely chop onion, or slice off and discard roots and dark-green tops of leeks. Cut in half lengthwise. Fan out under running water to remove grit. Finely chop by slicing lengthwise, then crosswise.

  • Heat 1 tbsp (15 mL) butter with oil in a large, wide saucepan set over medium. Add onion and stir often until soft, 3 to 5 min. Add rice and stir until glossy and coated, about 1 min.

  • While stirring constantly, add remaining 1/4 cup (50 mL) of wine. Stir until rice has absorbed wine. Ladle in about 1/2 cup (125 mL) broth mixture. Gently stir until most of the liquid is absorbed. Repeat this process with remaining broth, about 1/2 cup (125 mL) at a time. Adjust heat as needed so mixture is just simmering.

  • Stir gently and constantly until rice is tender and almost all broth is absorbed, from 22 to 25 min. It should be slightly saucy but not soupy. Remove from heat. Stir in remaining butter, parmesan and chives.

  • Taste, then add salt, pepper and more cheese if needed. It's easy to dress up our classic risotto recipe. In this version, for example, we stirred in shrimp and peas for the last 5 min of cooking (see Variations, below).



Five minutes before rice is cooked, stir in 1/2 lb (250 g) uncooked peeled shrimp and 1 cup (250 mL) frozen peas.


Roast 1 lb (500 g) oiled butternut-squash cubes at 400F (200C) until tender. Stir into cooked hot risotto.


Add 1/2 oz (14 g) dried mushrooms to broth. Cook 8 oz (225 g) of sliced mushrooms with onion. Continue with recipe directions.