I also love risotto, and make it often. Along with 00 flour and parmigiano, Arborio rice is one of the things I ALWAYS stash a couple of bags of in my extra piece of luggage. Doesn't everyone bring an empty suitcase for food shopping in Italy? I know one other Pomodori who does...
A few years ago, during a visit to Rome, we celebrated Brad's special birthday at Agata and Romeo. I was given a lovely gift by the hostess, a small book: 100 Risotti dei Migliori Ristoranti del Mondo. I have tried several, and have about seven or eight that are "standards" at our house. I have also created a few combinations of my own, using some of my favorite ingredients. But if truth be known, I have never made a straight forward risotto Milanese!
Yesterday, Sandi mentioned the two schools of thought about "to stir or not to stir". I have heard many a debate on this topic, and have tried it both ways. (I even make a lovely baked risotto with no stirring at all! ) But again, who am I to question Marcella?
I looked at my box of saffron threads. Hmmmm, I wondered how long it has been in my pantry, as it is not an ingredient I use often. It seemed to dissolve well in the hot water and looked like a good color, so I proceeded.
Marcella's process was clear and straight forward. It is perfect, especially for anyone who is afraid to try risotto. If you follow her steps, the risotto turns out perfectly, the right texture, and no mushy stuff or pan that is tough to clean. It was perfect. It is also the first time I have made risotto with home made broth, and it was worth the trouble. I will be keeping a permanent spot in my freezer for THAT!
We enjoyed our risotto with my favorite chicken thighs with caramelized onion and fennel.