Serves 6–8


6–8 cups chicken broth (homemade is best)
Olive oil
2 cups arborio rice
2 Tbsp. shallots, finely diced
1/2 cup dry white wine
Black pepper
3/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


Time: 20–30 minutes

Heat the broth in a pot to a simmer.

In a separate pot, add olive oil and warm on medium heat. Add the rice and stir with a wooden spoon to coat with the oil. Let rice heat and toast slightly, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Add the diced shallot and white wine to the pot with the rice (it will sizzle). Stir until the wine is absorbed.

Add a large ladle or two of warm broth to the pot and stir. (Risotto is all about the stirring and slowly adding liquid.) Season with some black pepper and a pinch of salt.

When the broth is nearly absorbed, add another ladle of broth. Stir until it is absorbed. Repeat this step for about 20 minutes until the broth has been used, tasting the rice for doneness. (Note from Lauren: I like my risotto creamy; some people prefer a bit of firmness. This is personal—make it the way you like it!)

When the risotto is close to done, add about 1/4 cup cheese to the pot and stir.

Take the risotto off the heat when you feel it is done. Add more black pepper if desired. Add another 1/4 cup cheese and stir.

Serve the hot risotto over a bed of cool, fresh baby arugula and top with more cheese.

Note from Lauren: There are a million ways to make this dish. Play around until you find what you love. I use turkey broth sometimes (after Thanksgiving!), crab broth made from shells of cooked Dungeness crabs mixed with chicken broth, or beef broth, whatever is on hand. Fresh herbs add a nice touch too: parsley, cilantro, etc. You can make it in advance if that is more convenient. Just warm it by adding more broth and stirring it in over heat. It is also good cold!

Warning: Risotto is delicious and fills you up, so start with a small serving at first!

More from Lauren's appearance on Oprah: Where Are They Now?

More from Oprah: Where Are They Now?, airing Sundays at 9/8c.