Garlic is not often used in flavoring a risotto; onion is usually used as a base flavoring element. In this recipe, however, the flavor of garlic is pronounced, and I love it. It is simple and also delicious, especially if you add some shrimp (or scallops or clams) in the last 5 minutes of cooking. You can also add a vegetable, such as broccoli or peas. Risotto should be served immediately: it continues to cook even after it’s taken off the fire, and the rice will become mushy. There is nothing worse for an Italian than overcooked rice or overcooked pasta.
- 7 cups or more Chicken Stock, preferably homemade (see here)
- Kosher salt, to taste
- 14 large garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 1 cup white wine
- 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 small onions, chopped
- 2 cups Arborio rice
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- ½ cup grated Grana Padano
Bring the chicken stock to a simmer in a medium saucepan, and season with salt. In a blender or food processor, purée the garlic and white wine.
Heat the olive oil a large, shallow, straight-sided pot over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the onions, and cook until they are tender, about 5 minutes. Raise the heat to -medium–high. Add the rice all at once, and stir continuously until the grains are toasted but not colored, about 2 minutes. Add the -wine–garlic purée, and cook until the liquid is almost absorbed.
Ladle in about 2 cups of the stock, stir, and cook until the liquid is almost absorbed, about 5 minutes. Ladle in 2 more cups, and again simmer until the liquid is almost absorbed.
Continue cooking and adding stock in this manner until rice is al dente, about 15 to 20 minutes in all. Turn off the heat, beat in the butter, stir in the cheese, and serve.