Spinach risotto is an ideal representation of what finely cooked Arborio or Carnaroli rice is all about, namely, creamy and buttery texture. The spinach in the recipe below adds another layer of silky consistency and the green color emitted from the spinach makes this a beautiful dish, as well.
You can serve spinach risotto as a starter or as a side to roasted pork, fish, or beef.
- 2 cups Arborio or Carnaroli rice
- 1 cup white wine
- 4-5 tablespoons butter
- ½ cup grated Grana Padano
- Freshly ground black pepper and Kosher Salt
- 10-12 ounces of fresh spinach
- 6 to 8 cups water (you can use also homemade chicken stock or low sodium chicken stock)
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large red onion, chopped finely
- Clean the fresh spinach well and cut into smaller pieces (into about ¾ inch pieces) and set aside (note: buy the best fresh spinach you can afford). Place the the olive oil, onions, and a half teaspoon salt in a large heavy pan and set the flame to medium. Cook down the onions until soft and then add the rice. Toast the rice until the rice becomes translucent (the center can have a bit of white color). Pour in the wine and stir the ingredients well (you want to make sure the alcohol has had a chance to evaporate out of the liquid).
- Next, ladle in 2 cups of hot water or enough to cover the rice completely. Cook and stir for 2-3 minutes and then add the spinach on top of the rice and stir well (the spinach will wilt almost immediately). Continue to ladle in more water to cover the rice and stir frequently and when the liquid is almost completely absorbed ladle in another cup or water.
- After 15 to 20 minutes taste the mixture and adjust for salt and pepper. When the rice is creamy and has a slight crunch in the center you can add your butter and about ½ cup of grated cheese.