Adapted over time from the recipe on the back of the Arborio rice box. Seriously.
1/2 small onion, diced
1 garlic clove (optional)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup arborio rice
4 + cups chicken broth
(This is the very basic foundation, feel free to swap in a cup of dry white wine for a cup of broth, or add up to 3/4 cup cheese if you like yours boozy & cheesy. If I’m at home, I keep it simple and usually skip the wine & cheese)
In a large straight-sided skillet (3 quarts) or even better, a heavy-bottom dutch oven heat olive oil. Add onions and cook for a few minutes on medium heat until onion soften. Add garlic and cook for a minute, keep an eye on everything to make sure your onions and garlic don’t brown up.
Add rice and toast for 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of broth and stir frequently, turn heat to medium high. I learned a great tip from Tyler Florence about when to know when to add the next cup. If you can scrape the spoon across the bottom of the pan and it leaves a trail/wake in the risotto, it’s time to add the next cup of broth. Continue doing this with each cup of broth or wine until rice has absorbed the liquid and is softened. This can take anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes.
When the rice is finished add anything you want, I put in a cup of frozen peas. I took them out of the freezer when I started cooking and they were thawed enough by the time the rice was ready. I also chopped up a few ounces of prosciutto that I had leftover. And I topped it off with a quick sprinkle of pecorino-romano cheese. Mangia!