Basic Recipe with 7 Classic Italian Variations
I present you with an Italian-approved risotto pressure cooker recipe. The rice comes out creamy and delicious just like the original – faster, and without all that stirring and baby-sitting. This technique will not result in boiled rice and will only take 20 minutes from start to finish.
NY Times authority on all that is delicious and edible, Mark Bittman, in his Laid Back Risotto technique insists that it is not exactly required to stir in the liquid a little at a time. In fact, the key to risotto creaminess is in all the work before the liquid is even added – the toasting of the rice grains. The most important thing to remember when adapting a risotto recipe to the pressure cooker is that once the top is on nothing evaporates… so: be delicate with the wine or it will overpower your whole risotto; and, stick to the ratios on the broth – except when adding watery vegetables- or you will boil the rice!
Update: Adding veggies
Since writing this post, almost two years ago, I have refined and improved my risotto veggie-adding technique. Since vegetables can be almost 95% water they can really throw off the liquid/grain ratios in the pressure cooker. Too much liquid in a risotto means the grains will keep absorbing and then burst open making them looking over-cooked, though they are really over-absorbed.
When I don’t need to saute’ the veggies for extra flavor, I just put them right in my measuring vessel. For this recipe, I use a 1L pitcher, but you can use a 4-cup measuring cup. I add the vegetables and then measure all the way to the top with broth – usually adding a little extra dash to make up for that 10-5% of vegetable matter.
The only exception to this veggie technique is the potato. Though it’s 80% water it’s 20% magic. It can be added to the risotto without needing to adjust the liquid ratio. Add just one small chopped potato with the rice. And get ready the creamiest rice – ever!!
Here is the basic recipe, scroll down to the bottom to see common risotto variations!
|Pressure Cooker||Accessories||Pr. Cook Time||Pr. Level||Open|
|6 L or larger||none||7 min.||High(2)||Normal|
- 2 cups of Arborio Rice (can be substituted with "Short Grain White Pearl" rice)
- 4 cups (or 1L) of chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 swig of white wine
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 tablespoon parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- In the pre-heated pressure cooker on medium heat add the oil, and onion. Sauté the onion until it becomes translucent (about 5 minutes).
- Add the rice and lightly toast it to release the starch. When you add the Arborio rice to the onions, the rice will turn from solid white to translucent as it absorbs the oil and onion juice, then in about a minute back to white. Wait until just a couple of grains look golden and your rice is toasted!
- Add a swig of white wine and un-stick any grains from the bottom of the cooker with it and stir the rice until the wine has fully evaporated.
- Add the broth (or broth and veggie mixture), mix and close the top immediately.
- Close and lock the lid of the pressure cooker.
- For electric pressure cookers: Cook for 5-6 minutes at high pressure.
For stove top pressure cookers: Turn the heat up to high and when the cooker indicates it has reached high pressure, lower to the heat to maintain it and begin counting 7 minutes pressure cooking time.
- When time is up, open the cooker by releasing the pressure. For electric pressure cookers cook for a minute less (since the release takes longer) and remove the inner pot from the cooker immediately to keep the rice from over-cooking .
- The risotto should appear just slightly too wet. Stir, and the rice will continue to absorb the extra liquid in about 30 seconds. If the rice is still very wet, put the open pressure cooker back on a medium flame, without the lid, and finish cooking it this way - stirring often- until it reaches the right consistency.
- For a classic finish, melt a tablespoon of butter and grated cheese and stir in right before serving.
Fancy-up your Risotto:
- Risotto alla Milanese – add saffron threads or powder when you are softening the onions and de-frosted petite frozen peas right after you have opened the pressure cooker.
- Mushroom Risotto – use red wine, instead, and throw in dehydrated mushrooms while you saute the onions or fresh ones in the measuring vessel for the broth since they are 90% water, anyway!
- Lemon and Pepper Risotto (pictured top of page) – instead of wine, use the juice of one lemon. Add a tablespoon of lemon zest in the vegetable stock right before adding to the risotto. Serve with plenty of freshly milled pepper on top.
- Zucchini Risotto – dice two large zucchini and saute’ a small handful of zucchini with the onion and toss the rest in the measuring vessel for stock
- Potato and Pancetta Risotto – reduce the olive oil and throw in the pancetta with the onion. When some of the fat has melted off the pancetta add one medium diced potato, and lightly brown them, then continue with the recipe.
- Tomato Risotto – when browning the onion use butter instead of olive oil. Throw in a pinch of oregano, too! When measuring for the broth, first add one 14.5 oz. or 400g can of chopped tomatoes (or 2 chopped fresh tomatoes) into your measuring vessel, then calculate the rest of the liquid.
- Frutti di Mare – Start cooking at least 1 lb or 500g (more if you like!) of shellfish first in a separate pan with garlic and salt. Save some of the liquid they release for your broth. When they are about 75% cooked, start with the basic risotto recipe. Add one anchovy to the olive oil when softening the onion. When the rice has softened, add about 25% of your shellfish into the pressure cooker and continue with the recipe. When the risotto is ready, unite the remaining shellfish to the risotto before serving. Sprinkle with plenty of chopped, flat-leaf parsley.
What is your favorite risotto recipe? Have you tried it in the pressure cooker?