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White Onion Risotto

I have been making this risotto for over 20 years. It is an adapted version of the first risotto I ever made, the 'Joy of Cooking' Risotto in Bianco. I turn up the wine content in this adaptation and have larger bites of onions, choosing to chop instead of mince.


8 cups chicken -or- other broth

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 large White Onion Rough chopped

2 cups Arborio Rice

1 1/2 cups of Dry White Wine

2 Tablespoons Butter

1 1/2 cups fine shredded Parmesan

Salt and White pepper to taste


  • Pour broth into a saucepan and hold at a simmer.

  • Heat olive oil in a heavy bottom cocotte or other pot over medium heat.

  • Add onion and sweat until turning translucent.

  • Add rice, stir to coat with oil, and sauté until white and opaque.

  • Add one cup of wine. Stir until evaporated and absorbed into the rice. If this appears to happen too quickly, reduce the heat on the rice. It is important that as you add the liquid, it is mostly being slowly absorbed by the rice, not mostly evaporating. This gently cooks the rice as you add the liquid while also creating the cream sauce.

  • 1/4-1/2 cup at a time, ladle simmering broth into rice. Stirring to incorporate and observing that the liquid has been nearly completely absorbed before the next addition. End to end, this process will take about 30-40 minutes.

  • Continue to add broth until fully absorbed. If it looks like it is no longer absorbing liquid, take a test bite of the rice to see if cooked. If the rice is hard in the center, the process has been too fast, continue to simmer rice watching for absorption then proceed with adding the remaining broth.

  • Once all the broth has been absorbed and the rice is tender to the bite add in the final 1/2 cup of wine and stir to incorporate.

  • Cut heat and stir in butter until incorporated.

  • Stir in Parmesan until incorporated.

  • Taste and season with salt and white pepper to your taste.

Makes 8-10 side servings and 4-6 main servings. If eating as a main, in particular as a vegetarian main, this is delicious with Wild Mushroom Gravy as pictured below.

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