Marcella Hazan’s Parmesan Risotto

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| Servings: 4 servings

This Parmesan risotto recipe is an adaptation from Marcella Hazan’s cookbook, The Essentials of Italian Cooking. Marcella was an Italian cookbook author who passed away in late September 2013.


  • 4 cups homemade meat broth or veggie broth
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons onion or shallot, chopped finely
  • 2 cups carnaroli or arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • Salt


  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the broth to a very slow, steady simmer on a burner near where you’ll be cooking the risotto.
  2. Put 1 tablespoon of butter, the olive oil, and the chopped onion in a broad, sturdy pot, and turn on the heat to medium high. Cook and stir the onion until it becomes translucent, then add the rice. Stir quickly and thoroughly until the grains are coated well.
  3. Add ½ cup of simmering broth and cook the rice, stirring constantly with a long wooden spoon, wiping the sides and bottom of the pot clean as you stir, until all the liquid is gone. You must never stop stirring and you must be sure to wipe the bottom of the pot completely clean frequently, or the rice will stick to it.
  4. When there is no more liquid in the pot, add another ½ cup, continuing always to stir in the manner described above. Maintain heat at a lively pace.
  5. Begin to taste the rice after 20 minutes of cooking. It is done when it is tender, but firm to the bite. As it approaches that stage, gradually reduce the amount of liquid you add, so that when it is fully cooked, it is slightly moist, but not runny.
  6. When the rice is about 1 or 2 minutes away from being fully cooked, add all the grated Parmesan and the remaining butter. Stir constantly to melt the cheese and wrap it around the grains. Off heat, taste and correct for salt, stirring after adding salt. Serve promptly.

Source: PBS