With all the stirring, risotto is more labor intensive than your typical rice side dish – but it’s so worth it. The starch released from the toasted grains makes it creamy, even if you don’t want to add the cream cheese.
I always make this risotto when my boyfriend is having a tough week, or when we’re celebrating a birthday or anniversary. Really, I can always come up with an excuse to get my risotto on, and it never fails to put us in a good mood.
It’s so tasty and filling without being heavy. I love that I can add frozen spinach or kale for a veggie boost, and this is also one of my favorite ways to use baby bellas, in case you couldn’t tell.
This risotto can easily be a meal all its own, though I normally make something else with it too.
If you don’t normally make risotto, you might feel intimidated by the constant stirring. You’ll want to give it a good stir every 1-2 minutes, giving you some time to work on other things or wash a dish or two between stirs.
There is such a thing as too much stirring, as it could get too goopy, but this hasn’t happened to me. You do want to rough up the grains so they release their starch, but there’s no need to punish them.
It should take about 30 minutes to absorb all of the liquid into the grains, but if it feels like it’s moving along slowly, you may need to turn up the heat. You want your stovetop to be at about medium heat so your risotto is gently simmering as you stir.