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Article

A Trick for Making Risotto Ahead

Fine Cooking Issue 78
Photo: Scott Phillips
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If you’ve made risotto, you know that a fresh batch takes at least 30 minutes to prepare. How then, you might wonder, does your favorite Italian restaurant manage to serve you a hot dish of perfectly cooked risotto in about 10 minutes? The answer is parcooking. If you try to make risotto ahead completely and then reheat it, it’ll be overcooked and mushy. Instead, you can cook it until it’s about halfway done—the rice should still be rather firm inside—and then spread it out on a baking sheet to stop cooking and cool. Cover the rice and set it aside at room temperature for up to two hours. When you’re ready to serve the risotto, return it to the pot and resume adding hot liquid until it’s perfectly al dente, a few minutes later.

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