Risotto is made with prepackaged short-grained Arborio rice which originated in a village in the Piedmont region in Italy. It’s widely available at cooking shops, Trader Joe’s and Italian delis, though not consistently in chain grocery stores. The cooking process demands attention, yet it is simple to make, and oh so delicious, with opportunity for creative, regional, and seasonal additives (condimenti).
The recipe is a compilation over time. Quantities are absolutely flexible.
The mnemonic is from chef Ornella Carletti’s cooking class in Umbria at La Rogaia more than a decade ago. It’s a clever guide through the cooking steps. The memories of that week pervade my senses as I stir. In translation:
Sofrito=fry, or make suffer, the onions…Riso= rice…Vino=wine…Brodo=broth…Formaggio=cheese…Condimenti=condiments
It is traditional to drink wine as you solemnly stir.
Ornella would not recommend so much cheese as a garnish. This is my husband’s serving, and his choice.
[Editor’s note: Use enough broth to keep a thin layer over the gently bubbling rice throughout cooking, stirring occasionally. When the rice is plump and tender].