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This is one of the dinner dishes I can mostly cook on my own.  We have made many variations of it adding different fillings one would like. To chop the onion and this evening the mushrooms, I use this specialized gizmo shown below to hold the food down to slice through the tines of it with a thin  (on the smaller side) to slice or dice.


Risotto has always had a notorious reputation for being so difficult for the home cook…tough to get the heat right, to stir too much or not enough, etc.  But if I can do it with one hand tied behind my back, you can learn to make it!



(from Sundays at Moosewood cookbook)

5 cups vegetable stock (could use chicken, whatever)

2 T oil and/or butter

1 onion minced

1 1/2 cups Calasparra or Arborio rice

1/2 cup dry white wine

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Ideas of stuff to add:

Peas (crimini mushrooms go really nice too with), Asparagus, Dried Porcini, vegetable purees, saffron, tomatoes, fennel, pumpkin


  • Wooden ‘Spanker’
  •  large pot (ideally an enameled cast-iron Dutch oven)
  • Medium-sized pot
  • large soup ladle
  • [if hemiparesis] device & knife mentioned above

Heat up broth to boil (or just under) in a separate pot and have a large soup ladle ready

In large pot over medium heat, sauté onion until soft in butter and/or oil

Add the rice stirring to very lightly brown the rice coating each grain with the butter/oil

Add the wine while stirring

The secret to risotto is adding a ladle of broth one at a time stirring nearly all of the time until that ladle of broth absorbs nearly completely before adding another giving it the creamy texture.

Knowing when to call it ready is somewhat of an art that comes with practice  as you don’t want it too toothy, but al dente still.  Here’s another good technique.

Optionally, you can finish it with melting a bit more whole butter 

Serve and enjoy right away as they say, “risotto waits for no one”




Shad ‘helping’: