Do risottos need to be stirred all the time or not?
I love making risotto and I will not change my method, unless I'm doing something fundamentally wrong, such as the stirring. I stir all the time. However, I always kind of fold big spoonfulls of rice instead of beating the rice around.
Some sources advise to stir all the time. One of them is Giorgio Locatelli. I saw him last week again pointing at "some renowned chefs in the UK who say risotto doesn't need to be stirred" as opposed to him, being authentic Italian and his grandmother of 80+ who always stirred risotto. I'm kind of in Locatelli's camp...
Some say that stirring cause the grains to rub against each other, releasing just enough starch to make the risotto creamy. Good point imo!
There's also this young Italian cook in my own country who has his very own vision. Mind you, he's somewhat of an "enfant terrible" and very outspoken.
He stirs all the time, but, more in the beginning than at the end. Reason given; at the beginning the ricegrains are solid and stirring will do them no harm. Further in the cooking process, the grains become softer and could break and release too much starch, which may turn the risotto mushy. I think he also has a good point!
There's also another camp that says; put all the broth in and don't stir. Raymond Blanc does it and suggest to only stir at the end, which -dixit Blanc- makes also a creamy risotto...
Here I agree with Locatelli. His remark on this method; "It's no risotto..." (you need to add a sarcastic smile on Locatelli's face)
What' your preference?
Maybe another question too. The young Italian I just mentioned, also uses... spanish bomba rice. According to him with very good result.
Locatelli prefers carnaroli or vialone. He advises not to use arborio in risotto because it contains too much starch and is better fit for rice puddings!
And what's your favorite kind of rice to make risotto?