The idea that making risotto requires hours of stirring over a hot stove is a total myth. This creamy rice dish is as easy as boiling pasta. It requires occasional stirring, sure—30 minutes that you can spend sipping Sangiovese, snacking on cured meats, and chatting up friends around the stove, where everyone gravitates anyway. Make enough risotto for leftovers, to use in things like arancini and risotto cakes. Once you’ve mastered the basic method, try our six delicious variations—or develop your own!

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