One Prep, Two Meals: Risotto

Make-ahead risotto rice holds a regular slot on my dinner menu. Get risotto recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
Risotto may seem like an unlikely candidate for the one prep–two meals formula: it has a reputation as a fancy meal that requires time and special care. But if you keep the right rice on hand and understand the basic technique, it simply becomes another fabulous way to stretch leftovers—and impress your friends at the same time.

These recipes build on the ratios given in Fresh Improv Risotto. So if you’ve already made versions of that recipe, or participated in one of my risotto workshops, familiarity will make your meals come together quite quickly. If you have yet to experiment with risotto, follow the recipes here and then check out the improv post for other risotto ingredient ideas.
Learn to make Garden Risotto and Last-Minute Shrimp Risotto

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Risotto

Why do we consider pasta to be easy and versatile but risotto to be challenging? Italians, the masters of both, don’t see it this way. “Every conceivable vegetable, seafood, and meat can go into risotto,” says my sumptuously illustrated copy of Venetian Taste. “The frugal Venetian does not hesitate to stretch a bit of leftover into half a meal by amplifying it with rice.”

I have often eaten delicious risotto, but my first memorable one was in Venice, turned deep violet-black by cuttlefish ink. Although replicating this particular pairing is nearly impossible stateside, the pale, creamy rice dishes colored by local vegetables and various spices are well within reach. All you need is to start with the right rice and then adjust your standard technique for cooking it. The rest, as the Venetians would say, is due volte più gustoso.
Learn to make Fresh Improv Risotto and Sunshine Risotto