The Absolute Best Type Of Rice For Risotto

Risotto is a deceptively simple dish that can lend an air of elegance to a meal. According to Cuisine At Home, Risotto is a northern Italian rice dish that is made by heavily stirring the rice, while it cooks in a simple broth. It is also typically topped with parmesan and plenty of butter, which turns it into a perfect comfort food with only a few ingredients.

Italy Magazine says that the dish wouldn't be known as risotto until the early 20th century, but similar dishes can be found dating back to 1779, when rice was first cooked with broth and butter. The most famous form of this dish is risotto alla milanese. This is a variation of the simple dish that includes saffron to stain it a brilliant gold color. When a dish is as simple as the classic risotto, every ingredient needs to be of the best quality, and for risotto that means only having the proper rice included.

Arborio rice is perfect for risotto

The key to a good risotto lies in its creamy texture and to get it just right, you'll need the right rice. According to Real Simple, the best rice for risotto is Arborio rice. It is one of the most common used in the dish, thanks to its high starch content. Arborio rice is a type of Italian superfino rice that is considered to be a short grain rice.

Bon Appétit reports that a good risotto requires constant attention and stirring. That's because the constant agitation of the rice while it cooks down in salted water helps to release its abundant starches and slowly transforms it into a creamy, hardy dish. Cuisine At Home also notes that there are other types of super starchy Italian rice, but they aren't as widely available. If you can find Carnaroli, the supposed 'king of rice', or Vialone Nano, by all means splurge, but for the most part Arborio is going to be your best bet.

If you can't manage to even find Arborio, then The Kitchen Community recommends pearled barley as a sufficiently starchy replacement. Sushi rice will also work well because it is a similar short grain rice for the most part. Masterclass also recommends the nutty flavor of farro, though it would technically be a farrotto at that point.