Risotto, Polenta, and Italian Beans

Rice, cornmeal, and beans are three important ingredients in Italian cooking. Risotto is a creamy rice dish from northern Italy that can be served as a first course, side dish, or main dish. Polenta is cornmeal simmered in water or milk that can be served as a first course or a side dish. Beans are used in Italian soups, stews, and salads. The traditional cooking methods for polenta and risotto require constant stirring for extended periods of time, and there is debate about how best to cook dried beans: Should they be soaked, quick soaked, or left unsoaked before simmering? Also, does salt effect beans’ tenderness? In this lesson, you will learn our techniques for making risotto and polenta in record time with minimal fuss as well as our foolproof method for making creamy, tender beans that put the debates to rest.

Video Overview

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Core Equipment

The right tool can make or break a recipe. At America's Test Kitchen, we test kitchen equipment in search of brands that offer the best value and performance. Since we accept no advertising, our ratings are unbiased. Check out our recommended products for the equipment you'll need in this course.
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  • Amco Houseworks Professional Performance 4-Piece Measuring Cup Set

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  • RSVP International Endurance Precision Pierced 5 Qt. Colander

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  • Rösle Hook Ladle with Pouring Rim

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