CLASSIC pasta risotto with a variety of herbs









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Think of the options: with (a) fresh basil and parsley, or with (b) rosemary; or with (c) sage.

This is a simple risotto, which you can vary from time to time by your selection of the herbs you are going to use.


  • two cups of Arborio rice (or the two other approved varieties)
  • five cups of meat stock
  • one small onion, finely diced
  • one tablespoon peeled and chopped garlic (optional)
  • four tablespoons of olive oil
  • one-half cup dry white wine
  • one-half cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • one tablespoon of butter
  • salt and pepper

The herbs:

  • (a) one half cup minced fresh basil; one half cup minced fresh parsley
  • (b) one tablespoon chopped rosemary plus a few more sprigs
  • (c) one quarter to one-half cup roughly chopped fresh sage leaves and a few extra leaves

to cook: (a more detailed an elaborate description of the risotto cooking technique can be found at how to cook risotto).

Bring the stock to a slow simmer in a pan next to the risotto pan. In a thick-bottomed pan (the risotto pan), over medium-high heat: add the olive oil. Add the onion (and garlic if you choose). Cook until soft.

(b) If doing the rosemary variation, put the tablespoon of chopped rosemary in at this point.

Add the rice and stir until each grain is coated with the oil. Add the white wine. Cook and stir until it is absorbed by the rice, about two minutes. Add salt. Now add the hot stock, ladle by ladle, only adding another ladle when the previous ladle of liquid has been absorbed, stirring almost all of the time. After about fifteen minutes, sprinkle in the saffron. Continue adding the ladles of stock until the rice is properly done: twenty minutes or so.

Determine proper doneness by tasting regularly. When it is properly al dente, with a little creaminess, it is ready.

(a) If doing the fresh basil and parsley, stir them in at this point.

(b) for the rosemary, stir in the "extra" sprigs at this point

(c) for the sage, stir in the chopped sage (save the other leaves for garnish)

Take off the heat. Now, also stir in the parmesan, and the tablespoon of butter. Let it sit, covered, for a minute or two. Serve on warmed platters.



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