This recipe itself acts as a base for many risotto variations. So treat this as a blank slate and do whatever you want with it! I myself make a Mushroom Risotto with this recipe as a base and it’s out of this world!

Just note, this is not what I would think of as a weeknight meal. In my experience, stage two, alone, is a forty-five minute affair, and that’s ignoring the prep work. I’d estimate the base recipe, here, takes a solid sixty minutes, and variations add thirty minutes on top of that.

The good news is that the result will easily feed six people, particularly if you pair it with a roll or a nice salad, and it makes excellent leftovers!


Amt Ingredient
7-8 C1 Stock (chicken, fish, or vegetable as appropriate)
1 T Olive oil
3 Large shallots (or 2 small onions), finely chopped
1/2 head Celery, finely chopped (discard tough outer ribs)
2 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
14 oz Arborio rice
1/2 C Dry white vermouth (e.g. dry Martini or Noilly Prat)
5 T Butter
3 1/2 oz Freshly grated parmesan cheese


This recipe is described in three stages. In the first stage you build a base of aromatics, lightly fry the rice, and add the vermouth. In the second stage, you ladle in the stock to cook the rice. In the final stage, you add the butter and cheese and make it all gooey!

Stage 1

  1. Heat the stock in a separate saucepan. You’ll want it very lightly simmering.
  2. In a stock pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat until shimmering.
  3. Add shallot or onions, celery, and a pinch of salt, and sweat for 3 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes.
  5. When the vegetables are softened, add the rice.
  6. Increase heat to medium high and slowly, continuously stir the rice for 2 to 3 minutes. Note, you don’t want any colour in the rice, so no browning. If the heat is too high, lower it.
  7. Continue stirring and add the vermouth, and cook until the vermouth is absorbed.

Stage 2

  1. Add your first ladle of stock (the original recipe also suggests adding a pinch of salt along the way but I prefer to season at the end).
  2. Turn down the heat to a high simmer–medium low to low. We don’t want a hard boil as the liquid will boil off before the rice is cooked through.
  3. Stir until the stock is mostly absorbed.
  4. Repeat steps 1-3 for about 25-30 minutes2.
  5. Taste the rice. Is it cooked? If not, keep going. You want the rice to be soft but with just a bit of a bite.
  6. Check seasoning and salt to taste.

Stage 3

  1. Remove from the heat and add butter and cheese (and make sure to save a little for later to sprinkle on top!) Stir gently.
  1. The original recipe called for four cups of broth but my experience is this recipe easily requires double that. It’s possible I’m cooking at too high a temperature and stirring too much, leading to moisture boiling off, but four cups has never gotten the rice even close to al dente in my experience. 

  2. The original recipe stated 15-20 minutes, here, which is wholly inadequate in my experience. Even 25-30 minutes is probably too little, but I’ve not gotten around to measuring the actual time. Just… be prepared for it to take a while!