I've offered up a red-wine-based mushroom risotto before, but now that spring is just within reach, here's a white-wine-based variation. This creamy parmesan spinach risotto is a lighter option, and while guests mingle in the kitchen you can stay in the conversation, enjoying a glass of Pinot Grigio or another Italian white while slowly adding broth to this simmering risotto, stirring until ready to serve.
Ingredients: (serves 4 main dishes or 6-8 side dishes)
- 8 cups chicken broth or homemade turkey broth
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups arborio rice
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 1/2 cups baby spinach
- Salt and pepper to taste
Begin by heating the broth to a light simmer; cover and keep warm. Melt the butter over medium heat in a separate pan, adding the onions and garlic, stirring and allowing them to soften, about 8 minutes.
Add the arborio rice to the pan of butter, onions and garlic, stirring to coat. Cook mixture, stirring constantly for 2 minutes. Add the wine to deglaze the pan. Once the wine has evaporated, slowly stir in about a cup of the warmed broth. Once the broth has absorbed, continue adding more broth a ladle at a time, stirring over 20-25 minutes. The trick with risotto is to stir in the broth slowly over time, allowing the rice to slowly soak it up until it's al dente.
Once the risotto is indeed al dente and before the last ladle of broth is used, mix in the spinach and parmesan.
Add the last ladle of broth, combining until mixed and cheese has melted. Finish with salt and pepper to taste.
Plate and garnish with spinach or parsley.
This creamy flavorful risotto is best served with a chilled bottle of Pinot Grigio, but any light, zesty white wine will do.