Basic risotto recipe.



BASIC RED SAUCE

1 tablespoon olive oil

Half an onion, small dice

Quarter cup red wine

10 fresh basil leaves, chopped

4 stems of thyme, remove the leaves from the stems

28-ounce can whole plum tomatoes

Salt and freshly ground pepper

SautŽ the onion and garlic in the olive oil until they start to caramelize.

Deglaze the pan with the red wine (you can substitute chicken stock if you prefer not to use wine) and then add the whole can of tomatoes, crushing them with a potato masher or fork.

Add the fresh herbs, salt and pepper to taste.

Turn the heat down low, and simmer 7-10 minutes

Taste, and adjust seasoning.

RISOTTO

"No matter what kind of risotto you make, this is the method you will employ. You can use any kind of stock, any aromatics you like — any wine — and all kinds of vegetables. If you choose to add veggies you can either add them at the end (having cooked them al dente first). Or, if it's something like mushrooms that will not overcook, but will be done in the same amount of time as the rice, add it with the aromatics."

SautŽ aromatics in a little olive oil in a large pan.

Add arbario rice, and toast for two to three minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Deglaze with white wine.

Adding one to two ladle-fulls at a time, stir in your hot stock, waiting until almost all of the liquid is absorbed before adding the next ladle. This step will take 18-22 minutes.

When the grains of rice are tender, stir in parmigiano reggiano cheese and a few tabs of butter to finish.