Perfect Pantry: Arborio Rice

Item: Arborio Rice

Found in: Most grocery stores

Cost: Approx. $2.50 per pound

Great for: Making risotto

Let’s face it: rice is cheap. I recommend having any kind of rice on hand in your kitchen as it is a useful starch to round out a quick meal. But arborio rice is special because when cooked it becomes creamier and chewier than most rices. That is why it’s the best rice for making the fanciest cheap food of all–risotto! Risotto is a dish that can stand on it’s own or serve as an elegant bed to seared fish or roasted meats. So keep some arborio rice in your kitchen and have fun stirring up this ultimate one-dish-wonder.

I served this super-seasonal pumpkin risotto with quick pan-seared scallops. But it’s great on it’s own or with easy roasted chicken or pork.



Pumpkin Risotto

Serves 6

  • 1 1/2 cups diced peeled seeded fresh pumpkin (about one small pumpkin approx 4 inches in diameter)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Place diced pumpkin in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a simmer and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain in a colander.

    Bring stock to a simmer in a saucepan and keep at a bare simmer. Cook onion and garlic in oil and 2 tablespoons butter in a 2 quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring, 1 minute.  Add wine and continue stirring until liquid is absorbed. Stir in nutmeg, salt and pepper. Add 1 cup simmering stock and cook at, stirring constantly, until stock is absorbed.  Continue simmering and stirring the rice, adding stock 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and letting each addition be absorbed before adding the next, until rice is tender and creamy-looking but still al dente.  If you run out of stock use warm water to continue cooking and stirring the rice.  It should take about 20 minutes.

    Remove from heat and stir in diced pumpkin, cheese, and butter, stirring until butter is melted. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm.

    I served the risotto with seared scallops and thyme.



    Filed under Fall, Gluten-free, Heather Platt, In Season, Main Course, Perfect Pantry

    5 responses to “Perfect Pantry: Arborio Rice

    1. Pingback: Cherry Season Suppers: Seared Duck Breasts with Cherry Port Sauce and Parmesan Risotto | Three More Big Bites

    2. Pingback: In the Risotto Zone: Shrimp Risotto with Blue Cheese and Bacon | Three More Big Bites

    3. Laura

      Risotto is one of those dishes I always regret not cooking more often. Its a great one-dish dinner. And your pumpkin version looks great.


    4. Jenny

      YUMMY!! i love the idea to serve with scallops. AND we have a ton of arborio rice to use up…


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