Classic Italian Risotto in Bianco
To over HALF of the world’s population, the amazing grain of rice is LIFE!
So important to many cultures, rice is often offered in feasts and ceremonies, even considered ‘the food of the gods’.
Most Americans think that all of our rice is imported from somewhere else . . . Asia, India, or Italy. And most Americans don’t know that some of the early wealth of this country was based on growing rice in South Carolina and exporting it elsewhere! Sadly, it was a labor-intensive crop and contributed to the use of slaves. The Africans knew about cultivating rice and are credited to this day for the success of rice in the States. With machinery introduced after the use of human labor, the U.S. is now the SECOND largest exporter of rice (next to Thailand)!
The famous high-quality rice of South Carolina known as “Carolina Gold” is thriving ……. and is quickly grabbed up by tourists, natives, and online consumers that make this rice often very hard to get.
In Italy the first course of a meal, known as ‘i primi’ would never be missed. If pasta is not served, than certainly everyone enjoys risotto or soup. So many of these ‘first dishes’ are humble and come from peasant origins. Although over a century ago, risotto for the poor may have been the meal because it was all that was available to eat cheaply.
Today risotto is a meal in itself, simply for having the same busy lives in Italy as we have here in the States.
In Italy, one would use Arborio rice, and you can too anywhere. But in South Carolina, “Carolina Gold” rice is of such high quality that it can be used to make superior risotto!
And that’s what is shared with you here! Classic Italian Risotto in Bianco (White Risotto) made with locally grown rice. This is the most basic and classic of all Italian risotte, in that not only is it white (bianco), but also it’s name signifies it simplicity . . . no saffron, mushrooms, tomatoes or other vegetables, and no meats . . . total delicious restraint!
Classic Italian Risotto in Bianco
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- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 1 medium onion, minced
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 2 cups Arborio or Carolina Gold rice
- 7 cups chicken broth (homemade is best)
- 1/3 cup dry white wine
- Freshly cracked sea salt and black pepper to taste (needs a lot!)
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 2 cups freshly grated Parmigiano-Regiano cheese
- Garnish: minced Italian parsley, chives or rosemary
- In a large frying pan on medium heat, melt butter.
- Add the onions and saute’ for 6 -8 minutes. Do not brown them.
- Add minced garlic and saute’ for another 2 minutes on medium heat so that the garlic doesn’t burn.
- With a long wooden spoon, stir the rice into the onions and garlic mixture.
- Heat for about 3 – 4 minutes on medium heat.
- Add and stir in the white wine until it is competely absorbed into the rise..
- Begin to add the chicken broth to the rice mixture ONE CUP AT A TIME.
- After each cup of broth is added, stir continuousy until the liquid is absorbed.
- Add the next cup of broth and repeat the process.
- Added liquid must be absorbed before the next cup is added.
- Finish this process for all 7 cups of chicken broth and absorption into the rice.
- When this is finished, add the heavy cream and 2 Tbsp. of butter. The risotto should have a slight firmness to the tooth, not hard and not soft.
- Again, stir continuously until completely absorbed.
- Add all of the grated cheese and stir to in corporate; the cheese will also melt while on a medium heat stove.
- At this time taste again for any necessary addition of freshly cracked salt and pepper and for any additional cheese necessary.
- Allow the risotto to rest for 2 minutes in order to swell up while absorbing all of the flavors.
- Use heated plates and serve the risotto immediately.
- Garnish with minced Italian parsley, chives, or rosemary.
- Pass freshly grated Parmigiano-Regiano cheese to guests.
- IMPORTANT: RISOTTO is finished cooking when the rice has a little firm bite (al dente) — IT IS NEVER MUSHY or to be overcooked. If you prefer a more creamy risotto, add more cream, but NEVER serve risotto either soupy/runny or dry. Like creamy pasta, risotto has a flowing movement on the plate and yet still be able to stand in a mound on a spoon.
Enjoy this recipe for Classic Italian Risotto in Bianco !
I grew up eating rice…we had rice for every single meal. Your risotto looks so creamy and flavourful. Thanks for sharing, Roz, and continue to enjoy your weekend!
Thank you Angie! I’m a big fan of rice too, especially risotto. My husband doesn’t prefer rice, so that means more for me to enjoy!
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Thanks for the rice growing and risotto info. Your risotto looks perfect and I wish I were a bigger fan of rice so I would make it – one one time did turn out well though.
Larry, my husband feels the same way about rice as you do — just means that I get to eat his risotto!
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I love that you could combine a Carolina staple with your Italian roots. Your risotto looks amazing, Roz!
Thanks Liz . . . I just love rice!
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I learned something! I didnt know South Carolina supplied the US Rice, I am someone thought it did come from overseas! That is so awesome about South Carolina! This looks sooooo good!!!
Hi Deanna, I’m so sorry to reply to you so late; way too much going on lately. I, like you, didn’t know about S.C. rice either, until I moved here! Thanks for your kind visit!
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How interesting… I never knew that about rice in South Carolina. I’ll have to hunt some down and make risotto with it. If only because of how much I love risotto.
Thanks for you visit Renee! I never knew about SC rice either until I moved here! Hope you’re staying warm!
I love a good risotto. In fact, I’d say it is probably my favorite rice dish. You can’t go wrong with a classic like this one!
I agree Shaina! Nothing beats risotto! Such comfort food!
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I love that you use locally grown rice to tie in your Italian roots!
Thank you Shannon, it’s hard to tie Italy to South Carolina, especially in regard to food and recipes! Your visit to my blog is so appreciated!
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I guessed the Italy part, but not the South Carolina part! Very interesting to read about though! This risotto looks amazing, I have to make risotto soon. I think it’s been well over a year since I’ve made it… That’s just sad. Thanks for posting!
Like you, Julie, I had no idea that SC had rice production . . . .until I moved here. And it is really good rice too; hard to get your hands on it, since it is in short supply and high demand among tourists who grab it up. Thanks for your visit!
I love risotto! I can’t wait to make this version!
Thanks Hezzi-D! I share your love for risotto too! Any version is delightful!
I never knew that rice was grown in S. Carolina. Thanks for the lesson and the great recipe.
I didn’t know rice grew in SC either, Wendy, until I moved here. And it’s really great rice too!
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It’s nice to hear that US is now the 2nd in line to exporting rice- we didn’t know that piece of info- thanks!
Hey Roz, as you know-we can eat risotto or pasta every day of the week and your recipe looks divine! Love the added heavy cream in there to make it creamy. 🙂
Hi you guys! Yes, and that rice is produced in the low country by you! It comes out just as creamy for risotto as does Arborio rice! Thanks for stopping by!
This looks so creamy and delicious! I love the Italian spin on it.
Thanks Tammi! Thank you for your sweet compliment!
Your risotto looks delicious! We almost retired to SC, now after seeing this rice, I wish we would’ve. This is a great recipe to try since I’ve never made risotto, it has to be the best. Thanks for the recipe, Roz and have a good week!
Hi Pam! Thank you for your comment and visit in January. . . time has gotten away from me with work and I apologize for replying so late! That is so interesting that you almost retired in SC. We’re both from Iowa and although we miss the Midwest very much, we’ve been here for nearly 20 years and will retire here as my family moves away from Iowa 🙁
Stay warm my friend! It’s freezing here too!
This risotto looks super creamy and tasty. It definitely does look like a meal of itself. YUM!
Hi Christie, Yes, risotto is definitely a meal in itself as you said! Salute’!
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I’ve never seen Risotto Bianco before. It looks great! And I know it tastes great too!
Thanks Martin! Hope you try this simple risotto someday. It’s very basic; I like other versions better, but just wanted to try this for its simplicity and a version that doesn’t take away from a ‘star’ entree.
Your risotto looks perfect!
Thank you Alida for your kind compliment. Risotto is really easy to make and there are so many delicious ways to prepare it!
I have always wanted to try to make risotto, but felt very intimidated by it. One reason is that I have never eaten it so I don’t know how it is supposed to taste. Another reason is that I have heard it is very tricky to make. I love how you give such good specific directions. Maybe I should start by trying your recipe, Roz. It really looks so creamy and delicious! I am going to pin this to remind me that I want to try it soon. Thank you!
Hi Shari, Risotto is super easy to make and once you try it, you’ll make it over and over. Not hard at all. I’d be glad to answer any questions you may have about making risotto when the time comes. Just a warning though: it’s a diet-buster! And that’s a bummer!
This risotto looks delicious, a must try for sure!
Thank you Mary Ellen! I hope that you can try making this or any recipe for risotto…..it’s really easy and if I can help you in any way, please let me know.
Thanks for stopping by,
I had no idea that America was such a large exporter of rice! Interesting. Now I’m going to need to ask where the rice comes from where I buy it. You risotto is divine…so creamy!
I never knew the U.S. was such a big rice producer either MJ. Then I moved to SC and learned all about it. Thanks for your kind visit!
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You are so fortunate to have such wonderful, locally grown rice to use! Risotto is a favorite and love that creamy texture and flavor.
I’m so sorry to read about the passing of your dear pet. My condolences, Roz.
Thanks Susan! Too bad that this rice so popular both in SC and online that it is often sold out and hard to find. Hope you’re doing well. Love those oatmeal streusel muffins that I just printed the recipe for (from your blog)!
I love a good risotto, Roz!
Hi Cindy! Great minds (or cooks, shall I add) think alike! Thanks for stopping by! Happy Cooking and Baking!
I love Risotto! Yours looks cooked to perfection!
Thank you Serena! You’re so sweet! Risotto is a favorite of my family and so easy to make!
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