Somehow risotto is often seen as a dish that’s difficult to make. Several people (who absolutely love risotto) have told me they don’t dare to make it themselves, because the prospect of stirring for hours is too daunting. I had the same feeling when I made risotto for the first time, about ten years ago. But luckily, I soon discovered how relaxing it can be to prepare risotto and that it’s not that difficult at all.
True: I wouldn’t prepare it for a large dinner party, because I prefer making it in smaller quantities and risotto isn’t as good when made in advance. But after a busy day, there’s nothing like stirring some risotto until it’s cooked just the way you like it.
About that stirring: you definitely don’t need to stir vigorously for half an hour, just now and then to release the starch of the rice. You can also prepare risotto without stirring or cook it in the oven (and those methods do work fine), but I prefer the traditional method. This just gives me the creamiest result and it’s easier to “feel” when it’s done. Risotto is done when the rice still has some bite, but is creamy and tender.
I like the fact that you can add almost everything to a basic risotto. My favorite combinations are butternut with goat cheese, asparagus with Parmesan and this version with zucchini, capers and pecorino.
The salty capers add a great contrast to the creamy risotto, the zucchini keeps it light and fresh, the lemon adds a little zing and the grated pecorino gives this dish depth and extra creaminess.
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