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Risotto is much easier to make than most people think. I sometimes even skip warming up the liquid, because it doesn’t make that much of a difference if I’m in a hurry. I recently was in Los Angeles and Colorado, and had trouble finding arborio rice in regular supermarkets. I’m hoping that was unusual because the rice makes such a difference. Definitely seek out arborio rice for risotto, it’s the only way to get the creamy texture you’re looking for.

And the leftover possibilities are just as delicious (if you can manage to leave leftovers): risotto cakes and arancini. Roll them into balls and dip in breadcrumbs. For risotto cakes, flatten them out and saute in olive oil. For Arancini, dip in egg before the breadcrumbs and then shallow fry them.

Risotto with Spinach, Lemon, and Bay Scallops

1/4 onion or a shallot, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup frozen spinach or sauteed fresh spinach

1 cup white wine

1 cup chicken stock or water, heated to a simmer

1 cup arborio rice

1 lemon juiced and zested

2 tablespoons basil, torn

1/2 pound bay scallops

3 tablespoons olive oil

Saute the onion in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil with a pinch of salt. Add the garlic and saute until softened. Add the rice and let it toast for a minute or two. Deglaze with the wine. Add the stock or water in small increments so that the rice has some liquid but isn’t covered. Stir occasionally until the rice is almost al dente. Add the lemon juice and zest and the spinach. Add the scallops and cook for the final minute together. Off the heat, add the basil and the rest of the olive oil.

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