Grandpap Vic’s Risotto

In many families, the matriarch rules the kitchen. However, I daresay that my grandfather is the best cook in my family – just don’t tell my grandma, okay?

My 100% Italian grandfather’s risotto is super delicious and fairly simple to make. I must warn you, though, as with many dishes passed down through families, the “measurements” are more like estimates. I learned by trial and error, so feel free to play around with the recipe until it’s perfect for you!

Grandpap Vic’s Risotto
Makes about 4 servings

  • 4 palmfuls risotto rice (not a handful! just a small mound within your palm)
  • 1/2 medium Vidalia onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 turns of the pan of extra virgin olive oil
  • Garlic to taste
  • 2 – 3 fresh basil leaves (can substitute dried)
  • 1 pinch of oregano
  • 1 glass of either white or red wine, according to your preference (not a full glass – around 6 oz.)
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth, heated
  • 1/2 can tomato soup
  • Parmesan or Romano cheese to taste
  1. Combine the butter and olive oil in a pan on medium-high heat until the butter has melted.
  2. Add in chopped onion, garlic, and a dash of salt and pepper. Saute onion until translucent.
  3. Add the glass of wine (Pan should be very hot at this point, so as to cook off the alcohol).
  4. Chiffonade the fresh basil leaves, then add to mixture along with oregano.
  5. Add your palmfuls of risotto rice to the butter, onion, and wine mixture. Stir constantly until the liquid has been absorbed by the rice.
  6. Once the liquid has been absorbed, add in 1 cup of hot broth at a time. When 1 cup of broth has been absorbed, add in another.
  7. Add tomato soup, again stirring until all is absorbed by the rice. You’ll notice that the mixture looks soupy for a few minutes until it absorbs the liquids.
  8. Don’t be shy about tasting! You’ll know the risotto is done when the rice has expanded and is tender. If there’s still a solid crunch in the rice, it’s not done, and you may need to add a bit more broth.
  9. Once the risotto is tender with a creamy consistency, transfer to bowls and sprinkle with as much cheese as you like. In the words of my grandfather, mangia, mangia!

What about you, readers? Do you have a favorite risotto recipe? Tell us below, or talk about it on Foodbuzz!


About Natalie

As the owner of three small, fluffy dogs, Natalie has accepted the fact that dog hair being everywhere and on everything is just part of her lifestyle now. She cannot stop decorating (and redecorating) her home, and lives by Robert Venturi's words, "Less is a bore." Fresh flowers, floral print dresses, and a good gin and tonic are just a few of her favorite things.

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  1. Avatar
    Mandy (Modcloth) 03/10/2010 at 11:12 am #

    Yummmm sounds delicious Natalie!! 🙂

  2. Avatar
    Christina 03/10/2010 at 12:02 pm #

    Mmmmm….maybe I should attempt to make this for my very Italian boyfriend. 🙂

  3. Avatar
    Jennifer (ModCloth) 03/10/2010 at 12:32 pm #

    This looks amaaazing. A fun project for the weekend!

  4. Avatar
    Tracy J 03/10/2010 at 3:42 pm #

    Risotto is DEE-LICIOUS! As long as you aren’t making Mushroom Risotto!

  5. Avatar
    Sydney 03/10/2010 at 11:18 pm #

    That sounds scrumptious!

  6. Avatar
    kat 03/11/2010 at 1:46 pm #

    what type of wine, red or white?

  7. Avatar
    Natalie B. (ModCloth) 03/11/2010 at 2:01 pm #

    Hi, Kat!

    Actually – my grandfather taught me that you can use either red or white! Both work equally well. It really just depends on which you prefer! Personally, I love ALL wine – especially my grandfather’s homemade vino – but I like white wine with this recipe. 🙂

  8. Avatar
    Taylor F. 03/11/2010 at 4:13 pm #

    Funny! I just made risotto in my international foods class at my high school! I just made it with chicken broth, so it didnt have that red color.

  9. Avatar
    Katie 03/12/2010 at 7:07 am #

    I tried this recipe. Success! My girlfriend approved, and she’s Italian too. 🙂

  10. Avatar
    Doreen 04/17/2010 at 11:42 pm #

    Omg! I made this tonight it was so good! My family devoured it. And all of the directions were so easy to follow. And it turned out fantastic! Thank you so much Natalie!

  11. Avatar
    Katie E 05/01/2010 at 5:39 am #

    Have tried this a few times, successful every time! The family are dead impressed by my sudden overcoming of kitchenphobia! Thanks modcloth! 😀

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