Things to Do with Arborio Rice That Aren't Risotto

Julia Bainbridge
Food Editor
January 22, 2014

Photo credit: Food52

If the months had a gluttony competition, December would win. “The last month has been full of food that loudly demands your attention—Miley Cyrus dishes, basically,” wrote Slate’s Nicholas Day this week. ”But no one wants to be yelled at all the time. Sometimes I want my food just to hum quietly in the background. I want a quiet-night-in of a dish.”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. (Really. That’s why we quoted him.)

Day is referring to risi e bisi, also known as rice and peas, a humble Italian dish requiring only six ingredients, including Arborio rice.

Yes, Arborio rice! In a dish that’s not risotto! No stirring, watching, waiting…and getting bored. Here are some other ways to break outside the risotto mold; Arborio’s good for lots of things:

Paella! Short and plump, Arborio soaks up those chicken juices and spiced broth like no long-grain rice can. 

Rice pudding! You want this dish to be creamy; Arborio rice gets you there.

Arancine! When cooked, Arborio rice get creamy but holds its shape. That’s exactly what you want for a recipe like this, in which the rice goes through a lot (stewing, them frying). Go on, Arborio, stake your claim! 

Minestrone! Again, plump trumps, here. The Arborio rice soaks up some of the broth (yum) and also thickens it with its relatively high starch content. 

So go ahead, use up those bits of arborio rice at the bottom of the bag. Miley is yesterday’s news.