Sage and Onion Knight Risotto

“My spells… I remember! I remember all of them!”

Tellah, FFIV

It’s best to buy really high-quality cheese and grate it right before you start cooking, but risotto is comfort food, and if you don’t have the energy for that, you can buy a container of freshly shaved Parmesan in the refrigerated section of the grocery store that will work nearly as well. Make sure your bottle of wine is at room temperature before you start, and measure out what you’ll need for the recipe so you can put the rest back in the fridge—cooking risotto is a long, slow, meditative process, and it goes best with good music and a cold glass of wine.


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, quartered lengthwise and sliced crosswise (about 2 cups)
  • 1 pound uncooked Arborio rice (about 2¾ cups)
  • 1 8-ounce package of crimini mushrooms, washed and sliced (about 3 cups)
  • 12 ounces dry white wine (1½ cups; about ½ bottle) at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
  • 32 ounces (4 cups) chicken or vegetable broth
  • 3 ounces freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (about 1 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, or ½ tablespoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper


Melt the butter with the olive oil in a large skillet or saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté, stirring frequently, until golden, about 10–15 minutes. Stir in mushroom and continue cooking until mushrooms release their liquid and become soft, about 5 minutes.

Pour in the rice and stir until well-coated, about 2 minutes. Slowly add the wine, stirring until each splash is absorbed before adding another, about 5 minutes. The easiest way is to make a space in the center of the rice and pour a little wine into the hollow. When it starts simmering around the edges, you can stir it in and then repeat with the next splash of wine.

Meanwhile, microwave the broth until hot. Add ½ cup of broth to the skillet with the chopped sage. Adjust the heat under the rice to a simmer, if needed, so that the liquid bubbles and is absorbed slowly. Stir until the liquid is absorbed. Continue cooking, adding the broth ½ cup at a time. You don’t need to stir constantly, but make sure you’re stirring frequently enough that the rice isn’t starting to stick between stirs.

After about 20 minutes of adding broth, taste the rice. You’ll know it’s done when it looks creamy and is just tender to the bite but slightly firm in the center. It usually takes about 30–40 minutes to get there, but it depends on how much heat you’re using and other factors. Don’t worry too much about the time; trust your tongue.

(You don’t need to use all the broth if you still have some left over when it gets to this point—the extra broth was just in case you needed it, because the last thing you want to do when the risotto is almost done is stop to heat up more broth.)

Add the cheese and season with salt and several grinds of black pepper. Stir to mix well. Divide into 8 bowls.

Nutrition Information

Per serving: 361 calories, 10.6 g. fat, 4.7 g. saturated fat, 0.5 g. poly. fat, 3.2 g. mono. fat, 15.5 mg. cholesterol, 524.2 mg. sodium (this will be less if you use homemade chicken stock instead of storebought), 181.9 mg. potassium, 56 g. carbohydrates, 0.8 g. fiber, 9.5 g. protein, vitamin A 5%, vitamin C 4%, calcium 14%, iron 5%