I would be grateful for advice and information about risotto pans. I have made risottos for years and have some knowledge of basic principles, some of it from friends who have lived in Italy. That is, I think I know what to put in, in what order, and how to stir and beat the rice against the sides of the pan. But what kind of pan?
On a recent visit with my son in Venice, I used a slope-sided copper pan in his apartment and made the best risotto I've ever made. This was pointed out repeatedly by my wife, who took me to the near-by kitchen store, where we found a similar copper pan. But the salesperson informed me this was a polenta pan and referred me to another store, not far away, where I was shown two risotto pans, one shaped very much like my Calphalon saucepan, the other fairly similar except for an incredibly thick bottom -- no slope to either, even though a slope seemed so advantageous to my Venetian triumph.
No doubt the gorgeous fresh mushrooms had something to do with that now-mythical risotto, but I am left with a question about pans. Web searching takes me to some extraordinarily expensive cookware from Switzerland (I think), but the risotto pan (unlike the polenta pan) still has no obvious advantages over my Calphalon.
I'm sure many people on this board can steer me toward the best possible risotto pan, if indeed I need a special pan for this purpose.
And incidentally, why a special pan for polenta?