Basic Arborio Rice (Risotto Technique)

Photo by: Sarah Shatz

by Whole Foods Market

over 2 years ago

Arborio is an Italian short-grain rice, named after the town of Arborio in the Po Valley, where it is grown. When cooked using the risotto-technique outlined below, the rounded grains turn out creamy and pleasantly chewy, due to their high starch content. (Carnaroli and Vialone Nano are two medium-grain rices also good for risotto). Use the recipe below as a starting point, adding other garnishes (cooked vegetables such as mushrooms or fresh peas) or cheeses (parmesan is especially good) to suit your taste and the season.

Arborio rice also makes a good choice for rice pudding thanks to its sticky, creamy texture. You can also boil risotto in a large pot of rapidly boiling salted water just as you would pasta. It won't have the elegant creaminess of risotto but it's quicker (takes only about 17 minutes).

Serves about 4 as a side dish or starter; 2 to 3 as a main dish

  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups broth (chicken,vegetable or other favorite)
  • A few tablespoons butter (preferably unsalted) or favorite oil
  • A handful or two chopped onion
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • For serving: grated cheese, butter, cream, cooked vegetables or herbs (Optional)
  1. Heat the broth to simmering in a saucepan. Lower the heat, and keep on a low burner.
  2. In a separate heavy-bottomed wide pot, heat the butter (or oil) over medium heat. Add the onion, and saute until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add arborio rice and stir with a long wooden spoon to coat with butter (or oil).
  3. Add the wine, and simmer, stirring, until the wine is absorbed.
  4. Add the broth in 1/2-cup increments, stirring each time, and simmering until almost all broth has been absorbed. Continue adding another 1/2 cup of broth and repeating the process, maintaining a constant simmer and stirring the sides and bottom completely. Taste after 20 minutes. Rice should be tender but still slightly firm (al dente) and intact. It should be pourable but not runny. Stir in a final 1/2 cup of broth.
  5. Enrich to taste with grated cheese, butter, cream, cooked vegetables or herbs. Season with salt and pepper. Turn off the heat, and stir to combine. Serve immediately in warmed bowls.

Nutrition Info:


  • 2367 calories
  • 115g total fat
  • 45g saturated fat
  • 485mg cholesterol
  • 2091mg sodium
  • 189g carbohydrate (11g dietary fiber, 14g sugar)
  • 114g protein
0 Comments Add a Comment

You can post comments here after you log in.