Risotto and What to Do with the Leftovers

Risotto and What to Do with the Leftovers

This lesson covers rice cookery. Rice is one of the most versatile grains in the world, and this lesson teaches you how to make a risotto dish with it. For risotto, a three-to-one liquid-to-rice ratio is ideal. This lesson uses chicken stock to cook the rice all the way through. The lesson also touches on how to use leftover risotto to make arancini.

Specifically, this lesson’s type of risotto is called risi e bisi, a traditional risotto has a particular nature: When placed on a plate, it relaxes. Risi e bisi is a bit thinner, so it forms a flat, even surface before it’s cooked.

Risotto and Risi e bisi
For risotto, a three-to-one liquid-to-rice ratio is ideal, and this lesson uses chicken stock to cook the rice all the way through.


Cooking Method: Pea Puree

To begin the pea puree, start with the green onions. Remove the root at the bottom and then chop the onions into small pieces. You will use the white part as a flavoring ingredient for the risotto. The light green part will be used for the puree. The dark green part can be used as a garnish.

Next, melt butter in a pan, but not too quickly. Do not turn the butter brown, and jiggle the pan to avoid burning milk solids in the butter. Add the green onions, giving them a toss to coat them. Cook for 30 seconds, jiggling the pan occasionally.

Add the peas and toss to coat in butter. Wait for the center of the pan to reach 265 degrees, at which point boiling will occur in the center. At that point, turn off the heat and pour the mixture into a blender. Puree the mixture, and then pour it into a bowl and set it aside to chill.

Cooking Method: Risi e bisi

To start the risi e bisi, bring the stock to a boil. Keep warm. Add the pancetta to a pan with oil. Don’t use metal tools in the pan; instead, use a rubber, nylon, or wooden spatula.

Heat the pancetta until it starts to sizzle, and then turn the heat down and render the fat out of the pancetta. Don’t overcook the the pancetta. Once the pancetta is rendered, tilt the pan forward to let the fat roll down. Use a spoon to take the pancetta out of pan and place it on a plate.

Add the white part of the green onions to the oil in the same pan. Cook them until they are translucent. This should take about 30 seconds. Next, add the rice, using one espresso spoonful per person. Coat the rice with the fat from the pancetta. Heat it to a very high temperature to parch the rice.

Once the rice is very hot, add the stock to it at a ratio of three cups of stock per one cup of rice. Bring this to a boil. The rice will absorb the water and swell up. Take the heat down to simmer at 185 to 205 degrees. Add a bit of salt and pepper, and then simmer for 22 minutes. After 10 minutes, check to see if it needs more stock. Add if the rice is becoming uncovered.

When it is three to four minutes away from being fully cooked, carefully add the pancetta, peas, salt, and pepper. Add the pea puree as well as Parmesan cheese.

Give this mixture a gentle stir, which releases starches from the rice. Make sure nothing sticks to the bottom. The risotto should have a creamy nature. Plate it, knocking the bottom of plate to spread out the risotto. Garnish with Parmesan cheese and green onions.


Cooking Method: Arancini

With leftover risotto, you can make arancini. Spread the leftover risotto on a baking sheet, and refrigerate it overnight. When you’re ready to begin making the arancini, use a small ice cream scoop to portion out balls of risotto. Insert a cube of fresh mozzarella to the center of each portion, and then roll each portion into an even ball.

Make an egg wash by cracking eggs, adding salt, and beating them. To bread the arancini, roll each ball in flour, egg wash, and panko breadcrumbs. Place the portions in a refrigerator for 20 minutes. Finally, in a small pot, fry the balls for 3–5 minutes in oil at 350 degrees. Once finished, place the arancini on a wire rack to drain. Sprinkle with salt while still hot.

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