Risotto…the ultimate Italian comfort food. Warm, creamy, utterly delicious, and very time consuming and fussy to make…until the Instant Pot came along!
I have found risotto to be one of the dishes I would have while eating out, instead of making it at home. The endless stirring intimidated even me, a fairly accomplished cook. But, being able to push a button and let the IP do it is a game changer.
I found this recipe in Janet Zimmerman’s new book, Instant Pot Obsession. This is a very good cookbook, with over 120 recipes and advice on how to best use an electric pressure cooker. Janet is a seasoned food writer and culinary instructor, with many other cookbooks to her name. When I asked her about this recipe, she revealed that this one is THE RECIPE that enticed her to start using the Instant Pot! She also mentioned that this is the kind of recipe that you can throw in some leftover veggies, or diced up meat – really, anything you want for flavor can be put in at the beginning of the recipe. I knew this is was one of the recipes I wanted to feature on our Quick and Carry Kitchen live Facebook show.
To prepare for making both the plain risotto and the butternut squash variation, I cooked the squash in the IP first. This is the easiest and best prep work ever! If you have ever tried to peel a butternut squash, you know that they have a weird texture and are hard to peel and hard to cut when they are raw. Now, you can simply put the whole washed squash in the Instant Pot, on the trivet, with one cup water added to the bottom of the pot. Use the manual setting for 17 minutes. When the time us up, release the pressure and remove the squash to a platter to cool. Peeling, seeding and then cutting is now super easy!
The “plain” version of this risotto deserves a better name…this is so tasty and satisfying, even though it is deceptively simple. Start by adding butter to the IP, and then some diced onion. Use the saute feature, on normal. Cook for a few minutes, stirring often. Add the rice and cook for about a minute, to coat it well with the butter. Then add the wine, and stir occasionally, for about 2 minutes.
Then add your stock. I used a box of vegetable stock and then added one more cup of water. Add the salt and pepper and give everything a nice big stir. Lock the lid on, set the toggle to sealing, and use the manual setting for 8 minutes. This is the part that is still like a little miracle to me! Eight minutes????? Wow. After cooking, release the pressure and carefully open the pot.
As Janet says in her directions, this is where you check and make sure the rice is properly done. It should have just a tiny bite, al dente, slightly firm in the center. You can add 1/2 cup stock and simmer it on saute again if you think it needs just a bit more time…but mine has been done perfectly every time I have made it. That is the BEST part of an Instant Pot, to me. Stir in the remaining butter, and the parmesan cheese. Taste for seasoning, and you are done…no fuss, no standing over a hot stove stirring for 45 minutes, and, you have perfect risotto!
For the butternut squash variation, add cubed cooked squash when you are cooking the onions. That’s it. Yes, it IS that easy. You can also add sage, or basil, as you cook the veggies for another layer of yum. You could also use pumpkin for this, and it would be just as delicious.
Thank you, Janet, for a fantastic recipe and a great cook book. I cannot wait to make some more of your recipes, and I will come back to this one time and again!
As Julia Child always used to say, Bon Appetit!
Our show featuring this recipe can be found here: