Marlys’s recipe for risotto seems to be developed to feed a crowd; it makes a lot. So I decided to do some comparison, and try to reduce the amount of risotto that it makes. I looked at the back of the Arborio rice container to understand that recipe.
risotto 007

I think the basic answer is that Marlys’s recipe uses more flavors from herbs, spice, cheese and wine, plus contains vegetables. The recipe on the rice container is very basic. It contains more fat, and more taste of the broth than Marlys’s recipe.

I decided that I would give you Marlys’s recipe as it is in her cook book, but then I would scale it down to about the same size as the recipe on the back of the Arborio rice container. So don’t feel defeated when the first couple items in Marlys’s recipe are 1½ quarts of liquid.


  • 2 cups water
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or sherry

In a 2 quart or larger pan, bring water and chicken stock to a boil, then reduce heat to keep warm. In a large skillet, saut&#233 in oil and butter the onion until onion is clear. Add rice and saut&#233 3 minutes. Add wine and saut&#233 until liquid is absorbed. Add 1/2 the stock and reduce heat slightly. Simmer, stirring frequently until liquid is absorbed; then add more liquid, a few ladles at a time. When liquid cooks out, add more. Cook to al dente (about 18 minutes).

Now you can add veges, Examples:

  • Spinach: 1 lb. triple washed, chopped
  • fresh Broccoli crowns
  • frozen mixed vegetables, defrosted
  • fresh Asparagus

For flavor add:

  • Basil: 1/2 cup loosely packed.
  • Flat Leaf Parsley: about 1/2 cup loosely packed
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Smaller Version of basic Risotto

  • 1 cups water
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cups arborio rice
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine or sherry

Reduce the amount of veges and flavor components by half for this smaller version of the recipe.

risotto 003

I added the “Smaller Version” ingredient list after I made the recipe just as Marlys wrote it. I used a 12 inch sauté pan which seems to be the right size. I used ½ pound of mixed vegetables for my vege addition. When I went to add the herbs, I had to mix some dried basil and parsley with the fresh herbs from my garden; I denuded my basil and flat leaf parsley plants, and only got about ¼ cup of each loosely packed, so I added the dried herbs. Remember that you only need about 1/3 the amount of dried herb compared to the amount of fresh herb, so I used only about an additional Tablespoon each of the dried basil and parsley. My cheese was Parmesan from that canister in the refrigerator.

The rice container says that 1 cup of rice will yield 3 cups of finished risotto. But, we are adding vegetables to the risotto, so you will get more than just a 3 to 1 expansion of the rice. I didn’t carefully measure the results of making the full recipe but I think I have about a 5 to 1 expansion of the rice with the added vegetables and herbs- about 10 cups of flavored risotto.

Leave a Reply