Risotto is always touted as an elaborate dish, but it’s actually really easy to make. This version of the recipe calls for white wine, but if you have already gone through your bottle, simply use the last of your cheap vodka, and it will be wonderful. Furthermore, if the high cost of pine nuts is eating into your coffee budget, substitute them for a (slightly) more affordable nut, such as almonds or hazelnuts. The only thing you can’t substitute in the risotto is the rice—it requires short-grain rice, such as Arborio, which can be found in almost any grocery store.


1 tbsp – olive oil 1 tbsp – butter 1/4 cup – chopped onion 2 cloves of crushed garlic 1 1/2 cups – Arborio rice 4 1/2 cups – chicken broth (or vegetable broth) 1/4 – 1/2 cup – white wine (or vodka, or cooking sherry) Zest from 1/2 lemon 1/4 cup – pine nuts 1/4 cup – grated asiago or parmesan cheese bacon bits (optional) salt and pepper to taste


1. In a large pot on medium heat, combine olive oil and butter.

2. Add onion, garlic, and rice. Stir rice to coat it. Sauté until slightly translucent, for about 2 minutes.

3. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil on high heat, then reduce to simmer on medium-high. Cover and stir often.

4. The rice will begin to absorb the liquid, keep stirring frequently and add wine after about 5 minutes.

5. Stir until liquid is absorbed and the rice takes on a creamy texture. This should take 10 to 15 minutes.

6. Add lemon zest, pine nuts, grated cheese, and bacon bits (if using). Stir well.

7. Add salt and pepper to taste, then cover the risotto for 2 minutes.

8. Serve it as soon as possible.