Achieving risotto that is creamy and just tender to the bite takes a bit of practice, but the right techniques make all the difference.

First, keep your stock at a simmer, so it’s hot enough to cook the rice. As you add stock gradually and stir, don’t let it all be absorbed before adding more. “I add more stock when I pull the spoon across the bottom of the pan and the bottom isn’t immediately covered up by stock,” says Whats_For_Dinner. “I find that a foolproof indicator.”

Also ensure that not all the liquid is absorbed when the rice is al dente, as it will continue to absorb more liquid (you can add a bit at the end, if necessary). Take the pan off the heat, cover it, and let it rest for a minute before adding cheese, recommends cheesemonger.

Or you can forget all that and use an unlikely tool: your microwave. “Someone gave me Barbara Kafka’s recipe for microwave risotto and it worked beautifully,” says MakingSense. “Yes, I had initial reservations about throwing centuries of tradition out the window, but why not go with a winner? I’ve been making it this way ever since.”

For a blueprint recipe, try Basic Risotto.

Discuss: Why can’t I make Risotto?

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