Food & Drink

Making risotto? Take your time (and enjoy the wine)

Whether you’re cooking with someone special, for a group of friends or for your whole family, here’s a recipe that lends itself to togetherness in the kitchen: easy risotto, stirred meditatively, the perfect thing to cook slowly with a glass of wine in one hand and the music turned up.

Risotto has a lot going for it. There’s the slight edge of fancy, as risotto is something many of us eat at restaurants but not at home. And yet it’s so comforting, a simple home-style dish, really. It’s also not difficult. One of the nicest things about risotto is even if you turn one out that’s not quite technically perfect, in the classical sense – rice a little too soft, sauce not creamy enough, the dish a bit dry – it’s still a really good meal.

It’s the perfect meal for when you want to spend a little time in the kitchen with your family or a friend. It’s not too demanding. It just needs some stirring and ladling. But it keeps you there, sipping wine and chatting until it’s ready.

I top this basic risotto with roasted shrimp, which is a lovely and easy way to incorporate shrimp into a dish. Just throw it into the oven as the risotto finishes cooking. I used tail-on shrimp for some restaurant-style flair, but you could use any large uncooked shrimp.

The recipe makes about 6 large portions. For two people, you could cut the recipe in half, or just enjoy leftovers for a couple days. I like to reheat risotto on the stove with a bit of extra broth to loosen it up.

Faith Durand is executive editor of, a website for food and home cooking.