Risotto alla Parmigiana

Cheese and Butter Risotto

This is the basic recipe, from which all other risotto variations are created. You can add other ingredients, such as vegetables, chicken livers, and herbs to this recipe. Making risotto successfully is all about texture, so it is important to master a simple version like this one before moving on to recipes which are more complicated because they contain lots of other ingredients. In this recipe, the only thing you need to concentrate on is the rice itself.


  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • cups risotto rice
  • about 6 cups best quality simmering chicken or meat broth or very strong flavored vegetable broth
  • 6 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Melt half the butter in a large saucepan. Add the onion and fry for about 10 minutes over a very low heat, or until the onion is soft but not browned.
  2. Stir in the rice and thoroughly toast the grains for about 5 minutes until they become opaque and coated in the butter.
  3. Add the first 3 ladles of hot broth and stir. Reduce the heat to low and continue to stir the broth. Add one ladleful of broth at a time, letting the rice absorb the liquid before adding more hot broth.
  4. When the rice is almost completely soft and creamy, stir in the cheese and the remaining butter. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary, then cover and allow to rest for about 3 minutes before transferring to a platter to serve.