Risotto is a beloved northern Italian dish for its comforting, creamy texture, satisfying warmth, and simple preparation. This springtime risotto gets brightness from vibrant green peas and a dash of Italian white wine vinegar just before serving. But the real depth of flavor and amazing texture comes from using high-quality arborio rice and melty, savory parmesan cheese.
What is Arborio Rice?
Arborio is the most common variety of rice used to make Italian risotto. This grain is native to northern Italy, where it’s readily available and less expensive than higher-end carnaroli rice. Where these two grains differ is in texture and shape. Arborio rice grains are wider, longer, and thicker than carnaroli grains. It has a lower starch content than carnaroli, which means the grains don’t absorb liquid quite as well as starchier carnaroli grains.
Arborio rice is also the quickest-cooking grain used to make risotto. This is another reason for its popularity among home cooks. This creamy risotto with arborio and green peas is an impressive, but not too difficult side dish for weeknight cooking.
It pairs well with other spring entrees like roasted salmon, ham, and lamb. Try this bright and satisfying dish for Easter and enjoy real Italian flavors at your holiday table.
How to Make Risotto with Arborio
The goal when making risotto with any kind of rice is to add the right amount of cooking liquid and cook the grains just long enough so that they hold their structure on the plate, without being too stiff. This phenomenon is called “al onde” in Italian, which translates as “to the wave”.
If you plate a scoop of your risotto and it flows onto the plate with a small peak like a wave, you’ve done it perfectly. Finally, sprinkle the top of each dish with extra parmesan for an extra boost of flavor, texture, and appeal on the plate before serving.