Healthy Eating

We're championing fresh food that packs a flavour punch, from salads and vegetable-packed bowls to grains and light desserts.

Subscribe to Gourmet

Subscribe to Australian Gourmet Traveller and receive a copy of Nordic Light - offer ends 23 April 2017.

Gourmet digital

Subscribe to Gourmet Traveller for your iPad or Android tablet.

The Royal Mail Hotel is changing
28.03.2017

Executive chef Robin Wickens has a stronger influence at the Royal Mail Hotel's upcoming restaurant, slated to open later this year.

Adventuring along America's north-west rivers
28.03.2017

The rivers of America's north-west running through Washington state and Oregon form the arteries of epic landscapes and bold discovery routes. Emma Sloley follows in the wake of Lewis and Clark.

The World's Best sommeliers are coming to Australia
28.03.2017

For the first time, the world's top international sommeliers will take part in the World's 50 Best Awards too.

Seven Italian dishes that shaped fine dining in the 2000s
28.03.2017

Italian food in the restaurants of Australia blossomed into maturity in the new millennium, as the work of these trailblazers shows – dazzling and diverse, a successful balance between adaptation and tradition.

Steam ovens: a guide
27.03.2017

Billed as the faster, cleaner way to cook, are these on-trend ovens all they’re cracked up to be? We take a close look at their rising popularity, USP versus the traditional convection cooker and how each type rates in terms of form, function, and above all, flavour in this buyer’s guide.

Our chocolate issue is out now
27.03.2017

Our April issue is out now. In his editor's letter, Pat Nourse walks you through what to expect.

Roast pork with Nelly Robinson
27.03.2017

Nelly Robinson of Sydney's nel. restaurant talks us through his favourite roasting joints, tips for crisp roast potatoes and why, when it comes to pork, slow and steady always wins the race.

Water carafes
24.03.2017

More than mere vessels, these pieces bring a cool breeze of style from the fridge to the table.

Fast autumn dinners

Autumn weather signals the arrival of soups, broths, roasts and more hearty meals.

Flour and Stone Recipes

Baker extraordinaire Nadine Ingram of Sydney's Flour and Stone cooks up a sweet storm for Easter, including the much loved bakery's greatest hit.

Roasted cauliflower salad with yoghurt dressing and almonds

The cauliflower is roasted until it starts to caramelise, which adds extra depth of flavour to this winning salad. Serve it warm or at room temperature.

All Star Yum Cha

What happens the morning after the World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards? We treat the chefs to a world-beating yum cha session, as Dani Valent discovers.

New cruises 2017

Cue the Champagne.

1980s recipes

Australia saw some bold moves in the ’80s, and we’re not just talking hairstyles. Greater cultural references started peppering the menus of our restaurants, and home-grown ingredients won a new appreciation. The dining scene was coming of age and a new band of pioneers led the charge.

Melbournes finest meet Worlds Best

Leading chefs descend on Melbourne in April for The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. We asked local hospitality folk who they’d abduct for the day and where they’d take them to show off their city. There may be coffee, there may be culture, but in the end it’s cocktails.

Savoury tarts

Will your next baking project be a flaky puff pastry with pumpkin, goat's curd and thyme, or a classic bacon and Stilton tart? As autumn settles in, we're ticking these off one by one.

Basic risotto


Requiring mostly basic pantry ingredients and only a few utensils, this northern Italian staple makes a wholesome family lunch or dinner.

You'll need

30 ml olive oil 60 gm butter, coarsely chopped 1 onion, finely chopped 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped 250 gm vialone nano rice 100 ml dry white wine 750 ml (3 cups) simmering chicken stock 40 gm finely grated parmesan

Method

  • 01
  • Heat oil and half the butter in a wide casserole over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and stir occasionally until very soft (8-10 minutes).
  • 02
  • Add rice, stirring to coat, and cook until just toasted (1 minute).
  • 03
  • Add wine and stir occasionally until almost evaporated (2-3 minutes).
  • 04
  • Add hot stock a ladleful at a time, stirring continuously until stock is absorbed before adding more. Cook until rice is al dente (20-25 minutes), remove from heat, stand 1 minute.
  • 05
  • Beat in parmesan and remaining butter until combined and creamy. Season to taste and serve immediately.

Visit our recipe gallery for more classic Italian recipes, including lasagne, panna cotta, Bolognese sauce and much more.

Risotto can be as simple or as luxe as you like. At its most basic, you need only a few ingredients - butter, olive oil, onion, garlic, rice, stock and parmesan. From this base you can embellish at will. The butter, olive oil and onion are pretty self-explanatory; the garlic is optional. These elements combine to make the soffritto, the foundation on which the risotto rests, so for the best results, take your time and cook until the onion is very soft, but without colour.

The rice requires more explanation. Use arborio, vialone nano or carnaroli, depending on your preference. It's worth noting at this point that there are two styles of risotto, and neither is wrong, only different. Knowing which style you like will help you get a lot closer to achieving the perfect risotto for you.

The looser, wetter style of risotto is known as all'onda (wavy) and is served in the Veneto. If you like this style, choose vialone nano, a short, stubby grain high in amylase, which softens slowly, giving the risotto some resistance to the bite.

If you prefer a thicker risotto, such as those served in Emilia-Romagna, Piedmont and Lombardy, arborio is your grain. It's large, plump and high in amylopectin, which dissolves in cooking, creating a stickier texture.

Marcella Hazan's The Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking  explains it neatly: "The Piedmontese/Milanese/Bolognese style is more compatible with substantial flavour bases founded on cheese, sausage, game and wild mushrooms, whereas the Venetian risotto all'onda achieves great delicacy with seafood and spring vegetables." Hazan says carnaroli is the king of risotto rices. It contains enough soft starch to dissolve in cooking but enough tough starch to cook to a satisfyingly firm consistency. As no two risotti are ever the same, our advice is to experiment with the different rice varieties until you discover the one you like best.

Now add the rice to your soffritto, stirring to coat in oil and toast the grains, which ensures the rice will cook uniformly. Once this is done, add the wine, stirring continuously until it evaporates completely.

Next add the stock. It must be hot, just below simmering point. Good-quality stock is a must, but keep in mind that as the stock reduces, it intensifies in flavour, so you may want to add a little water to prevent the risotto being overpowered by the stock's flavour. Add the stock a ladleful at a time, stirring continuously until it is all absorbed before adding the next lot.

The constant stirring allows the stock to be simultaneously absorbed and evaporated, and also serves to transform the rice's soft starch into a clinging agent, binding the grains together. The amount of stock required will vary according to the type and quantity of rice you're using and the consistency you prefer, so err on the side of having extra stock in reserve.

At some point during this process, you'll add your flavourings. Consider whether they're delicate (as with the herbed pea and pancetta risotto), or more robust, and time it accordingly. Ingredients such as pancetta or sausage, which benefit from browning, can be added to the pan after cooking the soffritto.

Once the rice is al dente (20-30 minutes, depending on the 'bite' you like), remove the pan from the heat and stand for a minute, then beat in the parmesan and final addition of cubed cold butter, making sure it's well combined. Contrary to popular belief, risotto benefits from cooling for a minute or two before eating, which is why it's often served in a wide, shallow bowl.


At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
GT
Signature Collection

Find out more about the Gourmet Traveller Signature Collection by Robert Gordon Australia, including where to buy it in store and online.

Read More
Recipe collections

Looking for ways to make the most out of seasonal produce? Want to find a recipe perfect for a party? Or just after fresh ideas for dessert? Either way, our recipe collections have you covered.

See more
2017 Restaurant Guide

Our 2017 Restaurant Guide is online, covering over 400 restaurants Australia wide. Never wonder where to dine again.

See more

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

Featured in

May 2009

You might also like...

Beef cheek recipes

recipes

Pave de boeuf with Roquefort sauce and gratin dauphinoise

A culinary Tour de France

recipes

Pan-fried John Dory agrodolce with endive and goat’s cheese

Saltimbocca alla Romana

recipes

Piccata di vitello

Adana kofte

recipes

Roast lamb loin with couscous and pumpkin

Pork chops with fennel

recipes

conversion tool

 
get the latest news

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.

×