Risotto alla Nonni

Source: My mom, Joanne, about 1970’s

Risotto alla Nonna in bowl
Risotto alla Nonna in bowl

Risotto alla Nonni

For decades now, Risotto alla nonni has been a family favorite. Thankfully, my mom continued the traditions from her mother, passing them on now 3 generations deep. We love Christmas eve for a few reasons, but mostly because of the menu. Risotto is a commitment. It’s a process to stand at the stove and stir rice, mixing in sauce until the mixture and texture is just right.

The must have ingredient to making a successful recipe of risotto is the rice. Aborio rice is the main staple here. Centuries ago, rice was imported to Italy from China. Since the 1500’s, rice has been grown and cultivated in Italy. Aborio comes from the Po valley where the growing conditions are just right. The Italians even have a passionate saying that goes something like this: “Rice is born in water, but dies in wine.”

In Northern Italy, this is a very traditional dish. There are a few variations out there. Some risotto’s include ham or prosciutto, while others have fresh picked mushrooms or fungi. Some risotto’s are white, or red like mine. It’s a culture. It’s a tradition, a passion, a love to make a lovely pot of risotto for your family and more to come.

Risotto alla Nonni

The gizzard version is my favorite, and you’ll find that gizzards give your sauce a very special, delicious taste.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Rice
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 people


  • 4 cups Arborio rice
  • 4 cups chicken stock home made
  • 4 cups bolognese sauce home made
  • 6 TBS butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Melt 1 TBS of butter and the wine in a large sauce pot. Add all of the rice, and mix together the melted butter and wine in the rice. Let it warm up. Begin to add 1 cup of chicken stock at a time.
    Arborio rice boiling
  • Note: Risotto is a labor intensive dish to prepare. Once you begin the rice cooking, you devote 100% of your time until the rice is cooked and all liquid has been stirred in. Total cook time is about 20-30 min. Use a strainer …
    Ladle broth through the strainer
  • Your method is to add a ladle of broth/sauce through the strainer, alternating and adding as the liquid is absorbing into the rice.
    Nonna stirring the risotto
  • You continually stir the rice and liquids together.
    Continue to stir
  • About half way through, add a 2 TBS of butter in.
    Add extra butter and stir it in
  • Continue to add the sauce and stock alternatively. Once you are nearing the end, and the rice is nearly ready, add the cream.
    Risotto about half done
  • Taste your flavors for the final after you add your Parmesano (Parmigiano) Reggiano.
    Adding the cheese to the risotto
  • Stir.
    Stir in the cheese
  • Season and serve warm and hot. Enjoy this marvelous dish!
    Risotto almost finished
  • The finished served dish
    The finished risotto dish with cheese on top
  • Arborio rice boiling
    Arborio rice boiling
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